Dell has two problems, it is approaching stagnancy in their main markets, and is about as exciting as an American cheese on white bread sandwich. Michael Dell's fairly desperate PR raising attempt at every CES keynote shows it wants to look 'cool' but can't, no matter how hard it tries. That is why an acquisition or 12 makes sense, lord knows it has the cash.
The XPS line is doing well, but it has about the mindshare of toenail clippers among the hardcore set. Yeah, it needs an image boost badly, and buying Alienware would be the quickest way to do that. The company is the volume leader in the gaming market, something Dell is sure to love, and the price would be pocket change.
Alienware commented on their new article and says the story is a strong positive reinforcement of the Alienware brand and the company's success. They didn't deny or confirm the rumour.