I think it is unfortunate that netbooks got shoved aside so quickly. I have 6 in my classroom now (2 Acer, 2 HP) and I absolutely love them. The biggest advantage is their excellent battery life. I can charge them overnight and then they will run all of the next day as long as I have power-saving on. I was lucky to get a full period out of my laptops. They run everything you could want them to and really only chug with video editting. Do note that they don't usually have a disc drive so software must be downloaded or installed via an external drive. Small price to pay. Other teachers have complained that they are too small but my kids haven't said a word. They are used to reading pages on their smart phones so a 10 inch screen sure isn't going to bother them.
On the quality issue, I haven't had a single problem with my Acer and I've had mine for over two years.