The original MS store deal sold out within hours of the OP of that thread, and they've been out of stock ever since. Strangely enough, they just restocked like you mentioned, and I ordered one myself. I think it's a really good deal given the ASUS build quality. The MSI GE70 that's often compared to it (due to price) has much poorer quality.
To me, the MS store deal and this one are quite comparable. For $200 more, you get the slightly faster CPU, more RAM, and Blu-ray, but also Windows 8, which is arguably not as good as Windows 7.
I never watch Blu-ray on my laptop, so that's not a factor for me. And 8GB of RAM is enough for most everything outside of video and audio processing, which I don't do. I plan on getting an SSD anyway, so the 1TB @ 5400RPM HDD is actually better than the 500GB 7200RPM HDD. I'd gladly trade 100MHz on the CPU for Windows 7, so even if they two were the same price, I'd likely get the MS store deal myself.
And all of that is on top of how accessible this deal is due to Black Friday.
EDIT: My post above was comparing the two deals as they are now, so if you are able to get this for $999, then it's really a wash. A lot of people don't have to pay tax from Tiger Direct, either, so in that case this deal is actually cheaper. But as I mentioned, both this and the MS store deal are very good IMO.
It's not like I work for Microsoft or anything *ahem*. Awesome to hear that you decided on ASUS, as I am also an ASUS user. I guess the good thing is that you don't have to wait until Black Friday to buy from Tiger Direct. It'll probably be sold out within a few hours.
Last edited by allenallenallen333; 11-21-2012 at 03:23 PM..