Perhaps it is a psychological affect, but some people are immediately turned off when thinking of refurbished items as "used" and just not as good as something sold to them as NEW. For me, as an individual who makes sure that almost every penny spent counts, saving money is more important than getting something that comes in a sealed box. Buying refurbished, reconditioned, recertified or "open box" electronic items - or any gadget - makes a lot of sense because in most cases, especially with electronics, the items have usually been returned to retailers and manufacturers with little or no use, usually as a result of buyer remorse. Based on personal experience, one can save up to 50% or more buying refurbished.
What about warranties? An important point to note about refurbished items is a shorter warranty period, but that can be easily mitigated by using some of the saved money to buy third-party extended warranties or using a credit card that comes with extended warranties on any item you buy (the latter in fact is a tip that works with brand new items too!) Also, these items may or may come in the original retail packaging and may be missing some accessories, like manuals or cables. If you are like me, you probably don't read product manuals and just rely on Google for any issues.
Where can I buy refurbished? A lot of big name manufacturers have special websites where they sell refurbished items, case in point being Dell's DFS Direct site. If you want local deals, most large chain stores usually have a special rack with refurbs, but its good to ask an employee because sometimes they hold such items in backrooms.