Several weeks ago, I went on a quest for a new laptop computer. My old - year old HP1120 laptop will now go to my Mom's house and replace an ancient Acer that is far too slow.
This is what I ended up getting, and HP Pavillion dv7 at Costco. I like Costco (I had to join and get a gold membership for $50.00) because of the extended two-year warranty, and the ability to return it within 90 days for any reason. My experience with electronic devices is that they WILL break unless you buy a warranty, in which case they work perfectly. Although I bought this on the internet, there is a large Costco nearby where I can drop my computer off it it needs repairs.
I like this laptop. it has a big 17 inch screen which lets me get up close. Although I did not care for Vista, Windows 7 is great to use, and runs all my old files. The sound is good, and the graphics amazing-- it is an ATI 4650 card which lets me play demanding Blue Mars and take good photographs, something I was not able to do before. I have had too many problems with NVDIA cards in the past to want to get one of these (Jago had a problem with his NVDIA card last month, they overheat easily).
I can also multitask and play Second Life and surf the web at the same time-- I was not able to do this with the 2 gigs of RAM in my old laptop running XP. It also has an expensive blue-ray drive, but this is something I will probably not use- I do not watch movies on my laptop. but it is nice to have.
If you want one, they are on sale for $899.00 through December 20.