[citation][nom]ethaniel[/nom]Adding together the cost of the netbook and the optical drive you have enough budget to get one hell of a notebook, much more powerful than the 1201 N. Check the Dell Vostro 1015 in Newegg, and you'll see what I mean.[/citation]
Thanks for the comment, ethaniel. That Dell you were talking about isn't a bad little machine, but the graphics on the 1201N are actually better. ION (aka Nvidia GeForce 9300/9400) beats Intel IGP any day of the week. Plus, the 1015 doesn't have HDMI out.
The optical drive is really optional. Nowadays you can get by without one, especially if you have a desktop at home to rip ISOs with.