When Dell first announced in mid-August its plans to acquire 3PAR, it seemed like a done deal. Far from it. Over the past five days, HP and Dell have been jockeying for the virtual-storage company. First, HP outbid Dell. And then, Dell came back with a better offer After HP outbid again, Dell matched HP's offer. Now, HP has outbid Dell. The stakes have reached $2 billion. At press time, 3PAR hadn't yet made a decision on which suitor to marry, but that should be coming next week.