Similar thing happened to me
I bought a laptop from PCworld, then found out that the bios on it was so broken and the manufacturer didn't provide any updates, software or firmware. This was a phillips laptop, DO NOT BUY A PHILLIPS LAPTOP!!!!!
To make a point, before going into any more detail... I said to the sales clerk "I'm going to install fedora core on this, would that be OK" The sales clerk said "sure, it should run all of the latest software..." :)
Anyway, back to the story, after trying 4 or 5 times to get Fedora 5, then 5.91 installed (this was a week before 6 was released). The machine would do some pretty weird stuff, for instance, if I loaded the driver for the wifi, it would die, or at least the graphics driver did I could still SSH to the box, even over wifi! Now this was based on intel kit, i945gm, ipw2200 wireless etc... so the hardware should work fine together.
Eventually I put it down to some quirk in the IRQ steering or something similar and had no choice but to take it back. When returning it to the store manager told me that because I'd killed off the windows install, and put linux on they wouldn't provide a refund. However, I had an ace up my sleeve.
I said to him, that when I bought the machine I had informed the sales clerk that I was going to install linux, he told me that would be fine, and under the sale of goods act 1970, if I purchase a machine after informing the sales staff of its intended purpose, if it doesn't work I can take them to court and say that the machine was "unfit for the specified purpose".
Thats the key, remember the sale of goods act, and remember that last quoted statement. According to the CAB these are key to getting what you want out of PC world.
Also, if they tell you that you can't run linux on the machine, there are a whole different set of rules which govern that! Check it out, but I'm pretty sure if you're refused sale based on the intended use of goods they're being prejudicial against your usage requirements.
One last thing, the mastercare warranty that comes with these machines is terrible, they will kill off your data without telling you to back it up first, they will replace your machine without giving you notice that they are intending to do that, leaving your hard drive in the hands of someone you can't vouch for with regard to destruction of data.
In the end I bought a macbook, works like a charm, never had any trouble with it which wasn't solvable I've had it back to apple twice for hardware issues which had come up and they didn't say anything about linux