Here are my thoughts on Chromebooks. I have used one since their inception as the CR-48 test units. I really want to like these devices, but for me they are just too limited. Google Apps are very nice, but they are no where near as capable as Microsoft Office or iWork. Although most students should be able to use them without missing the extra features, some won't. Also, no local storage scares me. Having copies of documents only in the cloud works sometimes, but lends itself to trouble.
I think buying a computer that is locked to a browser is not something I could ever see me supporting at a 1:1 level. Learning to use Chrome OS will not help the students become better at computer skills, nor will it help them in the future. Its just too short-sighted and limited for me to like. I would rather see the $500 go to an iPad, which has MUCH more function and the touch interface is very beneficial to the younger kids and special needs.
Just my 2 cents.
Tech Coordinator | The Warren School