The keyboard also has some distinct advantages over the competition. Among other things, it's backlit. Not only that, but the backlight is manually adjustable (and very responsive to ambient light conditions when left to its own devices). The chiclet-style keys are a joy to navigate, with softly textured faces and precise weighting.
The trackpad might not be quite up to Apple standards, but it's easily the best I've ever seen on a non-Mac computer. It has a soft, rubberized texture, and features fluid multitouch capabilities that I've never experienced on a PC before. The thumb-down-while-navigating-using-another-finger method works like a charm. Dragging articulations, entering notes, and even simple graphic design is just a pleasure. I used to wonder how it was possible that my friend (and Mac-geek) Andrew Paul Jackson actually preferred entering notes and other score items via trackpad, and had no desire to buy a mouse for his MacBook. Using this buttonless, multitouch, accurate trackpad has been quite an enlightening experience for me, to say the least.
3. It is among the most well-rounded devices (of any kind) I've owned.
In summing up, I can't think of a better compliment to give Samsung than the fact that I, as a relatively tech-savvy, aesthetically judgmental, cash-strapped consumer not only bought this computer, but that months of using it haven't changed something I realized the moment I first turned it on: I wouldn't change anything about it. I still get that little thrill when I flip the lid open and it wakes up from sleeping in 3 seconds, the keyboard backlight surging to life, the Duralumin gleaming darkly like a panther.
I love how, after hours and hours of intense usage (running Finale, Word, Chrome, Zune, even SketchUp), I can hover over the battery icon and see that I've still got 60% remaining. I love how "60% remaining" means that I've still got a few hours before I start looking for a wall port.
I love how I can tote the system around in an office-use-only envelope and no one has any idea I'm carrying a fully fledged, desktop-replacement-worthy system.
I love how I can look at the Series 9 every day and feel like I made the right choice, even if the right choice was an expensive one in this case.
It was worth it.
ADDENDUM: Check out this ridiculous line of crystal-studded Series 9 notebooks announced at Samsung's IFA press conference last week.