Some background. I have a rare opportunity in an organization of over 50,000 people to suggest a change in the way IT purchases computers. Currently, regardless of a person's role, they are given an HP Intel Core 2 Duo PC with 2GB of RAM and a single 19" monitor. We recently argued that this is not appropriate, in that different jobs have different requirements. Media Professionals have a need for higher quality monitors, fast disk drives, and large amounts of memory. Software developers typically need to have enough memory to run many applications simultaneously, frequently compile code and debug it locally, and use large amounts of screen space. Additionally, code needs to be tested on multiple platforms.
I'm looking for a recommendation for a reasonable HW specification that more directly meets the needs of software developers.