In other news - I set up on of the (several) laptops today. Luckily all but one of them is the same model so I can use a single image which will lower my workload a fair bit. The problems started when I tried to image this first one after I'd finished setting it up.
These brand new laptops have both wired and wireless networking and my imaging software (which is based on NETBsd is good at getting most network cards. It found the chipset and all seemed well. Until, that is, the network connection kept on dropping - further analysis (ie googling) showed that this chipset is notoriously unreliable - unix based systems will show these things up, windows systems may show something in the event log if you can be bothered to look.
The solution - one PCMCIA network card bought 5 years ago for some Windows 95 laptops and now this laptop is happily imaging fine. I'll do this for putting this image on the rest of the laptops - better safe than sorry. I already have way too much work without having to babysit a imaging laptop to see if the card is reliable enough.
I was offered one of these laptops to replace my desktop - mine is due for replacement and the department head is offering laptops instead of desktops. I wasn't going to have one (I prefer the desktop and I really need the connections to the webserver which I wouldn't have out of work anyway) and now I'm DEFINATLY not having one if the network card chipsets are that unreliable. A brand new desktop will suit me a lot better (and would be faster and have a larger hard drive).