Dell has recently stopped shipping operating system CDs with many of their consumer-level computers. Dell was the last major PC manufacturer to ship actual CDs (as opposed to a “recovery partition” which is useless if your hard drive crashes). So I was disappointed when I heard the news.
I’m a Dell partner/reseller. This doesn’t affect most of my clients because I generally sell business class computers. The quality and service are better. If you purchase your Dell through me, I can help you configure the perfect desktop or laptop for you without an hourly consulting charge. But if you buy from Dell directly, do yourself a favor and buy from their small business division.