Yeah Mak, I'd read that before I posted my question. Even though I'd read that the minimum requirement was 1GB, I still wanted to know if the "in-practice" amount was higher.
Like I first posted, some early, low-end Vista laptops were being shipped with 512 MB. I know. I'm on a laptop that was one of those (but now happily converted to XP!) My daughter has a Vista Compaq that came with a paltry 512 MB of RAM as well.
So far, my wife's new Toshiba Windows 7 laptop is working great and is fun to use. We're real happy with it.