If you don't want to build your own PC and can't afford one of the custom builders like Falcon Northwest, it looks like happiness (or at least the customer satisfaction that empirically passes for happiness) is still within reach. According a survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index , 78 percent of personal computer customers are satisfied with their purchases and service. Some are more satisfied than others, however, and with a score of 87 Apple once again gets the bragging rights over PC manufacturers like HP, the leader of the PCs with a score of 78. Dell and Acer trail slightly at 77, and Compaq (which technically still existed as part of HP until just this month) lags behind at 75.
That could reflect confirmation bias based on consumers' expectations, and the frustrations that accompany having a less expensive open platform that gives you more choices about what you want to do with your computer and how you want to do it. But unless it's way off, odds are you'll still be happy with your store-bought PC - just not as happy as someone who just bought a washing machine. The ACS study says people love those.