Ahh, okay gotcha. The only other thing I can think of off the top of my head that's a frequent cause of degraded performance (for laptops) is they're *really* sensitive to collecting dust in the vents (ergo, overheating). Wish I could point out a magic bullet that would fix it, though.
I hear ya there. Hopefully people get in the mood to do a little more spending this holiday season - even if it's due to trying to compensate for the general craptastic economic climate. Here's to better sales!