Holiday Gift Guide: $501-1000

For him

Dell Inspiron Mini 12 - While most netbooks sport impossible small screen sizes to match their impossibly small price tags, Dell's Inspiron Mini 12 boasts only the latter. The performance is hardly a boost over traditional netbooks, but he'll get a lot more done on the 12-inch, 1280 x 800 display, and it's still small enough to simplify a trip to the coffee shop -- or act as a small projectile in a heated debate over that prime 9pm TiVo slot.
$549 - $649 - Buy from Dell

TiVo HD XL - Speaking of TiVo, the HD XL is really a gift for the whole family, since its gargantuan 1TB hard drive makes room for 150 hours of HD recording, and you can even add an external drive if you find that too limiting. Really, can you ever have too many stored episodes of Friends? We think no.
$599 - Buy from TiVo

Sanyo Xacti HD1010 - The budding YouTube auteur in him will love this incredibly portable HD video camera, especially once apprised of the 300 fps slow-motion video this thing is capable of. It shoots 1080i video, 4 megapixel stills, and while that might not be enough to help him crash Sundance next year, it should make watching his lipsync video to "Womanizer" a bit more bearable.
$600 - $800 - Shop for Sanyo Xacti HD1010

For her

Vivienne Tam HP Mini 1000 - Do you know what the biggest problem with netbooks is? They look like netbooks: dull, boxy, and too thick at the waist... not an image you want associated with your lady-friend. While you may not know who Vivienne Tam is, rest assured she does. In fact, she'll be so impressed by this special edition HP Mini 1000 that she might not even notice your inane chatter about the Atom's superiority to the VIA C7-M.
$699 - Buy from HP

Dell Crystal 22 monitor - If she's looking to get some serious Photoshop work done, you'd best steer clear of this ultra-glossy display, but if she's more interested classing up the joint than pushing pixels, it's hard to beat Dell's Crystal 22 LCD display for style.
$999 - Buy from Dell

32-inch LG Scarlet LCD TV - Let's be honest, after a few months years of dating, the television becomes the nucleus of any dysfunctional relationship. So do yourself a favor and spring for a new 32-inch Scarlet TV for you hipster, urban digs. She'll be reminded all weekend long of your good taste while loafing about distracted from the unpleasant considerations of child rearing. Win, win.
$800 - Shop for LG 32LG60

For son

Casio EX-FH20 high-speed camera - If your kid is really looking to get into photography he may be better off with an entry-level DSLR, but any would-be Mythbusters in your household will be besides themselves when they realize this little camera will let them capture their own Mentos experiments at 1,000 frames per second. As a bonus, it'll also let 'em take regular videos at 720p and, of course, some decent enough still pictures as well.
$600 - Shop for Casio EX-FH20

Philips HTS8100 soundbar - It may not be a replacement for a dedicated speaker system, but it sure is a heckuva lot easier to fit into a bedroom or dorm room, and it'll certainly pump out some better sound than any TV's built-in speakers. As a bonus, it's now also readily available for a couple of hundred bucks less than its initial $1,000 list price.
$500-600 - Shop for Philips HTS8100

PlayStation 3 160GB Drake's Fortune bundle - It's not the bargain the Xbox 360 now is, but he probably has one of those anyways -- and he's no doubt been itching to play Little Big Planet and some of the other increasingly enticing PS3 exclusives out there. Who knows? He might even let you slip the occasional Blu-ray onto it.
$500 - Shop for PS3 Drake's Fortune bundle

For daughter

Dell Studio Hybrid Desktop PC - If your daughter's the kind of girl who likes to repaint her room to fit her mood or match her outfits, but she's also an environmentally conscious PC-user, this could be a match made in heaven. The Studio Hybrids -- which boast WiFi and HDMI options as well as wireless mice and keyboards -- make economical use of space, and are pretty easy on the eyes, too.
from $449 - Buy from Dell

Vicious and Divine Swarovski Laplace Webcam - A perfect gift for only the fanciest people in your life, the crystal coated webcam laughs in the face of understated glamor -- then kicks it, sprinkles some Swarovskis on it, and makes friends with it. Regardless, the 2 megapixel photo and 1.3 megapixel video resolution -- plus those 1,350 crystals -- make this the perfect gift for the uber-luxury crowd.
$504 - Special order from Speed-Link

Canon Rebel XSi DSLR - If you're hoping to foster the development of the next Annie Leibovitz, this 12.2 megapixel camera is a snazzy option. A serious DSLR that's also newcomer-friendly, the Rebel XSi is not cheap -- and it's going to run you extra to tack on those two optional telephoto lenses that she'll definitely want if she decides to forego the high road and become a papparazzo.
from $640 - Shop for Canon Rebel XSi

For mom

Plexidoor RFID-activated doggie door - Yeah, it's a doggie door that costs nearly a grand depending on how you configure and install it, but it'll stay closed for all but your pooch -- keeping Mom a tiny bit safer now that you've abandoned her for the big city. Are you willing to put a price tag on Mom's safety? Yeah, we didn't think so.
$500+ - Find a dealer

Sony VAIO JS all-in-one PC - Sure, Mom's a PC, but that doesn't mean she loves wires everywhere. Sony's got her covered with the VAIO JS series, which neatly packages a 2.20GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB of RAM, and an integrated facetracking webcam behind a 20.1-inch XBrite LCD. Oh yeah -- and you can get it in pink.
$999 - Buy from Sony

For dad

Garmin GPSMAP 620 - So, your father summers in The Hamptons and takes Christmas on Tortola? Perfect, the Garmin GPSMAP 620 is the only GPS navigator he needs. On the road, the 620 provides all the turn-by-turns, POIs, and proximity alerts you'd expect. Slip it into the marine mount, and Dad can navigate the yacht to his beach-side landing with an assist from both ariel and underwater 3D views. It also features an IPX7 waterproof rating which we assume has something to do with resistance to rum.
$1000 - Buy from Garmin

Nokia N85 - Come on, the N85 isn't just another cellphone, it's a multimedia computer as Nokia likes to say. Hard to argue given the N85's 2.6-inch AMOLED display, GPS, 5 megapixel cam, N-Gage gaming support, 8GB of removable microSDHC storage, WiFi, and enough power to drive 28-hours of audio before needing a recharge. And if you're buying it in the US, your father is almost guaranteed the exclusivity amongst his friends and colleagues. That's worth something, right?
$552 - Buy from Nokia

Panasonic HDC-SD100 - Got yourself a new half brother or sister thanks to daddy's new wife? Sweet, then pops will like nothing more than a new camcorder that matches the experience he's gained video taping the lives of a handful of kids now grown and gone from the house. The Panasonic HDC-SD100 records 1920 x 1080 video in AVCHD format while offering your old man plenty of the manual controls he now craves from a camcorder. It also features excellent low-light shooting capabilities to capture both newborn moments and whatever moments he, and his trophy wife might consider fit to record to SD cards.
~$900 to $1,300 - Shop for HDC-SD100

For colleague

500GB Sanho HyperDrive COLORSPACE UDMA - There are photo backup devices, and then there's the Sanho HyperDrive COLORSPACE UDMA. Of course, we can only wholeheartedly recommend giving this to colleagues who are looking to make that amateur shooting gig into something more substantial, but we can pretty much wager 1 in 5 corporate drones have such a scenario in mind.
$549 - Buy from HyperDrive

Dell M109S DLP Projector + 40-inch screen - So, here's the quandary. You're all about some after-hours Halo action, but you're not down with bringing the kit each time. Solution? Gift your dearest team member with this hot, hot combo and let him / her do the hauling. No one said this had to be altruistic.
$619 - Buy from Dell

LaCie 2.5TB 5big Network - Just like everyone needs more fruitcake, socks and underwear, everyone needs more storage. Really, it's a fact of life. That said, you can't go wrong with LaCie's 2.5TB 5big Network, which should certainly stay well below capacity until you give him / her the same box next year for half the price and twice the room.
$899.99 - Buy from LaCie

RIM BlackBerry Bold - Being that you're out shopping for a colleague and all, it makes sense to get him / her a replacement mobile that's geared for business. Thankfully, the Bold isn't a half bad personal phone either, and we hear it even makes you Usain Bolt-like for the first few days of ownership. No guarantees on that one, though.
$549.99 off contract - Buy from AT&T

For enemy

Blackberry Storm tattoo - True story: at the NYC meetup last week, the room filled with loud boos whenever the Blackberry Storm was mentioned. (Listen for yourselves here.) Personalize that experience for your best frenemy by inking them up -- bonus points if you tell them you're shelling out for an iPhone and pull a switcheroo.
~$501 (includes free Storm) - Buy from Mystic Impressions Tattoo Studio: "4 years in business with 0% infections reported!"

MP7 phone - MP3? MP4? Screw that -- drag your giftee kicking and screaming into the future with the MP7 phone. They'll be far more understanding about the need for open formats in no time.
$599 - Do you really care enough to track one down?

Palm Treo 800w - Palm's on the verge of unleashing an entirely new OS and line of handsets at CES this year -- so why not shackle your "friend" down with a two-year contract on some chubby last-gen hardware?
$250 with contract, endless monthly payments - Buy from Palm

iTreo 800p - Boss always yapping about how he'd get an iPhone if only it had a QWERTY keyboard? Shut him up forever with this abomination -- if you can actually manage to find one.