Very good review.
i have the exact same rig and pretty much agree with your critique. Still wonder why the i model get's a reported 1 hour better battery life. So far nobody seems to have an answer.
Played with my Area 51 m5500 all weekend. The fan noise is noticable but not objectionable on my unit. Does not run all the time even when i was playing Doom3. It does get warm on the right side of the palm rest and the air coiming out...