Here are the considerations:
-I really want to stay with 98SE and my current set-up but I'd like the advantages of USB 2.0 and a good multi-card reader. - anyone have a new machine using this combination? Any problems?
If you would like to stay with 98SE, then with your new computer purchase, you can always have a dual-boot system. Granted, you may need to purchase full versions of 98SE, and it may be difficult to find. I am not saying that it can not be done, but if you was considering copying it from one of your other computers, then you may become frustrated quickly.
Another option around that would be to get an external hard drive reader. Some laptop HDs may not be compatible with the reader, so is a chance that it would not work. If it does work, then you could place your old one in the reader, change a setting in the BIOS that will allow it to boot from it, and set it up for dual boot.
As far as USB 2.0 and multi-card readers go they are excellant devices. WIN 98 SE may be limited on them, but using XP (which I currently have), each slot has its own drive letter (starting with F: until finished), and it will show up as removable drives. When you insert media, then it will show up in the appropriate drive letter.
-The second consideration is pc vs. laptop. I know it is less expensive to go pc, especially if I get a CRT monitor ... but the thought of lifting one of those monsters again makes these old bones ache! -just can't see paying the high cost of an LCD.
It all depends on how much money you want to spend, and what you primarily do with your computer. LCD monitors are light weight, but some say thay are not good for high-graphic games. CRT monitors are much cheaper, but they take up much more room on your desk.
If you can afford the extra price, your computer will not have anything higher then a 64 MG video card, and you do not play any graphic intense game, then go with the LCD. If you want to increase your video card over 64 MG, so that you can play the graphic intense games, then go with a CRT.
You can also go the route that I have, and use both of them with dual screens. In most cases, it is easier to get a video card that already have dual outputs, but there are other ways around it.
We are all curious like a cat. We wonder, we ask, we learn.
Please post back when a suggestion works, so that others may learn.