A few days ago I moaned about the difficulty of getting a new machine set up. Since then, I've been working through the process, trying to document it fully. At this point I have a usable laptop, in fact, I'm producing this blog post with it. Here's what I did (so far):
After all that, I'm able to do real work on it. I haven't migrated my email yet, but I think everything else is on there.
BTW: Naturally, I was going to make all of those software and package names above links to the home pages, but screw it, that's a lot of links to paste in. You know where Google is, use it!