Finally took some action, after much in the way of humming and hawing over it, and bought a new computer. Went to the Dell outlet store to get one of those cheapo refurbs they seem to have so many of. Whilst browsing the updated stock list or 110 pc’s I spotted the following

P4 3.2Ghz (1MB L2 cache 800FSB)
XP Home
1GB PC-4200 RAM
160GB SATA hard drive
128MB PCI-E X300 Video card

That’s the bones of it. Got it for €848.21, or about €400 off the retail price. I finally have a new computer. I can play games again! I can burn DVD’s. I can edit photos and video without the mind-bendingly frustrating holdups. Hurrah for impulse buying!