Re: But.... where are the netbooks?
I was in the same boat as you recently. My eeePC 701 is showing its age and I wanted a newer netbook.
The new "netbook" equivalents (the cheapo Medions and Asus Cloudbooks etc.) are optimised for battery life and media consumption (and aren't particularly Linux-friendly, either).
Your best bet these days is a secondhand Lenovo X-series (e.g. X220), failing that a Dell Latitude (I recently acquired a Latitude E6220 for €200) or an HP Elitebook.