I agree with M1chael completely. He knows his stuff Do you work in IT M1chael?
Here's a link to some nice notebook recommendations that I use quite a bit for my customers.
It's looks OK but it was down a the last time I checked. Amazon's got it for $279.
It's a good external drive. I've used the 500gb versions and they are nice.
Deadman, I got a couple recommendations for you.
The IBM thinkpad is a business grade laptop that's built very rugged. Here's a link to amazon who currently has a nicely loaded one on sale and well within you budget.
IBM T61 from...