Anyway, while Caleb was browsing CDs, I went over to check out the laptops. I got some good customer service from a woman named Lucky, who recommended some minimums I need to look for. It was good to actually SEE all the various models, since I've been doing research online but haven't been physically seeing the sizes, feeling the weights, etc.
Saw a couple of Gateways that impressed with with their incredibly clear widescreen monitors, but then I started to think, "Why do I need that?" The widescreen will make it heavier and we all know I don't watch a lot of movies, so why get something based on the ability to watch DVDs? I really have been impressed with my current Gateway (desktop) as being reliable and non-schizoid, but I'm very open to whatever works best.
I then saw some Toshiba models and was a lot happier with the size and weight. I've been leaning towards Toshiba anyway, since I see a lot of people with them and am told they're reliable. They had a couple of models that were close to my requirements and had good prices, so here at home I went to Toshiba's web site to check out the full line.
I really think I'll be getting a Toshiba, since even when I customize with some hefty upgrades in speed, hard drive, and other stuff, the prices are still around $1500, which frankly is less than my current (3-year-old) desktop cost. I can also get docking stations for the models I saw, so it will be easy to hook up to my printer and all the junk I have. Oh, and two of the models are under 5 lbs, actually MOBILE!
So this weekend I think I will do some more research and figure out the specs I really need, then price a few models, look them up on CNET etc. and see which is best. Metro Girl has an expense budget that hardly ever gets used, so I'm pretty bullish on getting a new system by June sometime.