It turns out that, surprise surprise, you pay a premium for a tiny form factor. The MacBook Air is seriously expensive for the guts you get inside, but Apple isn't the only company guilty of charging insane amounts for smaller computers. Just look at the Sony Vaio TZ150N, for example. $2,100 for a 1.06 GHz processor? Are you kidding me? I don't care how small, it's still a rip-off.
The best deal—if you don't mind an extra pound of weight and half-inch of thickness—is the Dell XPS M1330. It bests the MacBook Air in nearly every single category, delivering about 30% more processing power, 50% more memory, over 300% more hard drive space, plus a dedicated graphics card. All of this, for $300 less. But also, two hours less of battery life, thanks to the new smaller and more efficient Core 2 Duo processor in the MacBook Air.
There's a chart of who offers what. You can stop reading before you get to: "Optical Drive?" Who wouldn't want one of those?