On the guys main problem, notebook batteries, I went through a couple
batteries on my Gateway, which is now about 6 years old. The original
battery lasted about 2 years. That one I had always left in the PC,
so it was mostly constantly charged, with occasional use disconnected.
The next battery was an aftermarket one I bought on Ebay. That one
lasted about a year.
Then I started to realize that for 99% of how I used the notebook, I
didn't need the battery. I pretty much used it at home or when away at
a hotel or similar place that had AC. It was rare that I really needed
or wanted to use it on a plane, car, etc.
So, I concluded for my usage model, the simplest thing was to remove
the battery. It not only solved the problem, but made the notebook
considerably lighter as well. Not suggesting that's what everyone
should do, but if it fits your usage model, it is an option.
As for Gateway, I'd never buy a system from them again. My system
came with Windows ME. Less than a year later MSFT was shipping XP,
which the system was clearly capable or running, but because of driver
issues, I can't install it on mine and Gateway refused to provide
updated drivers for a year old system. The final insult was while I
was logged into their website looking for drivers, a scum bag calls up
trying to sell me memory, which I didn't need and explaining how XP is
a whole new system, and it's all MSFT fault that I can't put it on my
PC. Funny thing that I upgraded and put it on another PC that was a
no-name I had put together about the same time off a website by
checking MB from X, Disk from Y, Display Adaptor from Z, etc.
Seemed pretty obvious to me Gateway tracks users by identifying their
PC's from service info and when they log in looking for support,
instead of providing a driver, they hit them up for more sales.