I just wanted to pass along this article about "What motivates programmers?", and let me state that it is right on. It's the hardware.
In fact, a few months ago I had a fellow programmer with less seniorship at work get a new laptop because her old one died. At the same time, I was still working on my very slow desktop. Even though I realized the switch was purely functional, I was still a bit resentful.
Funny, isn't it?