It seems rare to read a positive blog post about someone's new Dell PC, but Ed Bott at ZDNet has one regarding Dell's decreased level of "crapware" on its computers. Last year, I purchased a Dell Dimension 3100 PC for work and experienced the nightmare that was Dell crapware, with AOL being the most pervasive application, along with assorted music and photo management software. That process degraded the new computer experience as well as my opinion of Dell, while just being generally frustrating.
But as Bott documents, Dell has changed its ways. With a new Dell Dimension E521 in the office to set up, I found no AOL and not much to uninstall or configure. The only third-party applications I had to worry about were Google Desktop and Norton Internet Security, and the latter could have been excluded in the configuration process during purchase. I agree with Bott that AVG is a good, free alternative.
For the new PC, setup was fast rather than frustrating. A good change and conversion by Dell. It's nice to see a company (other than Apple anyway) recognize that a computer belongs to its new owner, not to advertisers.