I didn't feel willing to drop 2300 for a new one, but I wanted to try one out for a week or more after testing them at Blizzcon and Dreamhack. I won an ebay auction for 1180$ (2013 14" 512GB edition) and have been using it now for about a month.
It's kind of fun to take this to a coffee shop, sit down between all the MAC users and watch the funny looks they give me.
The 512gb embedded ssd has proven an absolute must for me(so no 256gb). The 765m gtx video card, while faster than my old 675m gtx is having a few lag moments when I run greater rifts in Diablo 3. Star Wars battlefront seems to be running fine.
This thing is getting really hot and when it does, the internal fans get really loud. For the first time I have been using my Cooler Master Note Pal with fans and it is finally a needed component.
These laptops do not have optical drives nor a RJ45 jack for wired networking. There are only 3 USB 3.0 ports to work with. To reload the OS I can either use the embedded partition or slipstream with a pendrive (super fast). I purchased a J5 Create USB3 (www.j5create.com/our-products/ethernet-adapters/juh470.html
) gigabit network adapter plus 3 port USB hub and it is working perfectly!
My only remaining challenge is that I would like to start using this as my work laptop (instead of the heavy dell inspiron I currently use). There are 2 problems here. First, a technical one...how do I get my work environment to this machine. I think I have this one solved by using VMware to create an image of my work machine. The second problem is an IT policy that does not allow the use of personal devices; however, in my role I rarely use my actual machine during my "profitable" (when I am delivering training) work activities. Most of the time I am connecting to a classroom of Virtual Machines with GoToMyPC while being connected to an "Islanded" network outside the DMZ.
In the end I really like this machine so much that I think I will buy a new one after the new year to upgrade to the 970 video card, 16gb ram, and have a machine under warranty. I am half tempted to wait for CES and hopefully a new 2016 model so I can buy the 2015 model new on a clearance sale. The only part on the new model I don't care for is a touch screen.