Acoustic noise levels

The reason I sold off the server I'd bought on eBay is because of the noise it generated. I already live right under the flight path to Sydney airport, so I don't need my own jet engine noise inside as well. So I'm looking around for a similarly specced machine, in workstation configuration rather than server.

IBM have lots of documentation about their products, and I've found a workstation model I like that's on eBay at a keen price. But I can't understand the noise specifcations they use, and Wikipedia hasn't been all that helpful.

What's specified is this:

Acoustical noise emission: 
Declared (upper limit) sound power levels:
 5.2 bels idle
 5.3 bels operating

Average sound pressure levels:
At bystander position (1 meter):
 37 dBA idle
 39 dBA operating

So what does that mean? Is "bels" another word for decibels? And as it's a ratio, I'm unclear how to read it. Some resources I've found put 30 dB as the sound of a quiet theatre, and 60 dB as a normal household television when switched on. So is 39 noisy or pretty reasonable? Let me know and I'll post the results for posterity.

I'm finding blogging like this quite helpful. I guess the audience is pretty big, what with it being on the SLUG, Linux Australia, GLLUG and Linode planets. Certainly getting lots of helpful responses to questions I pose. All without a commenting system!