I've heard a lot of talk about ZabaSearch. It searches publicly able government records as well as some commercial sources. A lot of people say that it violates their privacy because it's so easy to find people, so I guess it works pretty good.
About eight months ago, I picked up a Dell Latitude C400 from thrift shop, planning to put some sort of Linux on it. The laptop booted, but I got the gray screen of death (later diagnosed as a hard drive lock).