I was cheered by your suggestion and went immediately to the site. On the page http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/...ategory=Laptop
and it listed 3 Dell Laptops. However, when I called sales at Dell they said
-- they had no Ubuntu laptops that they could sell me.
-- While their site indicated that in some regions Ubuntu was available I was not in such a region (I am in Missouri U.S.A.).
-- They could not tell me what the regions were Ubuntu could be provided on a Dell laptop.
-- They did not really know that their website said that there were such regions.
I also note on the "Ubuntu Certified" page that it mentions that the version of Ubuntu that works might be a special variant version and/or have additional software to make it work. Dell screwed me over with that on my purchase of my current laptop because it came with version 8 plus something extra, and I had to wait until version 10 was available before I could reload Ubuntu and get the sound card to work again. Dell tech support could not figure out what software to send me or they were unwilling to send me anything that would make the sound card work.
I would be primarily interested to buy something that someone could recommend because they had had success with it. Or at least if a non-standard installation is required then the necessary software & instruction supplied so I can reinstall the system and get it to work with all the peripherals.
I have found service after the sale to be very lacking. In the case of Dell they were connecting me to tech support in India and I could barely understand the spoken instructions nor did those techs, however good they were, have any idea what Dell had done to configure the computer I had been sold.