It seems like it would be very useful to bring a laptop, esp with all the free wireless spots popping up, but would it be easier to just use local computers? Here's one for the dumbest question contest: When hostels say they have free internet access, do they mean a connection to hook up your own, or do they actually have computers for your use? Also, I'm guessing it's no problem to use an outlet at your hostel to recharge? Thanks!
We had a pretty extensive discussion about this last June:
laptop------ to bring or not to bring?
As for your other questions: Hostels which say free internet use usually have one or two computers (or dumb terminals) set up - although the lines can be pretty long.
Using power outlets to charge anything (laptop, mp3-player, cellphone) is no problem at all, although some hostels have only a very few in decent places (next to couches/chairs), so there might be some 'fierce' competition for those.
Oooppps! It looks like it was covered in detail! Thanks for the link to the previous thread. It definitely gives me an idea of the pros and cons. I enjoy traveling light, so I think I'll start dealing with my separation anxiety...