All it takes is one "oh shit!" moment and you're suddenly left without a laptop. Those of us with champagne tech tastes living on beer budgets often turned to used gadgets, either from a friend or a community like Craigslist or EBay. Any way you do it, there's still plenty of opportunities to buy crappy stuff or pay too much for something. For you, Sustainablog has provided a 10-step guide with an eye on what's good and green...
Sustainablog's 10-Step Guide to Buying a Used Laptop That Works covers what type of models you should be checking out (head for last year's units, or get one running a less-desirable OS) and all of the little things that us casual users might forget to test (like the CD burner and all of the inputs).
Some great advice if you're using EBay is to find a seller with no less than 100% feedback rating. If the computer arrives broken, flawless seller will happily allow a return in order to prevent negative feedback.
Check out the whole list here.