Tax Refund on Gadget Poll: Tivo Series 3 or Dell 24-inch LCD

Like many of you, I'm sitting on a bit of refund money from the Tax man. And as I write this, I'm burning mental clock cycles trying to decide what to spend this $600 on: a 24-inch LCD from Dell, which will undoubtedly help my productivity while I write for you the Daily Tech News. Or a pretty TiVo Series 3 DVR to keep me fuzzy and warm during my must-see-tv marathons.

I don't have a monitor at all, and the res of the 15-inch Macbook is becoming prohibitive. The Dish DVR I'm using is on the fritz, and as much as I love Voom network channels, TiVo+CableCard seems to be a good way to go, and a worthy competitor for the coming Vista CableCard boxes I'll be testing soon. Both are established hardware models that wouldn't make me upset if a revision was around the corner. Actually, TiVo Series 3 is a really safe bet because the hardware itself keeps getting those nifty software updates and we're a ways from Series 4.

It really comes down to Work vs. Play. So, what would you do in my situation?

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And what are you spending your tax refund on? – Brian Lam