For "1100, 100 more, 100 more than that" you can get a 15'' Aspire 5672WLMi
with Intel Core Duo Processor T2300, 1.66GHz, 2GB RAM, 120GB Hard Drive, 15.4-inch WXGA TFT Display, 8X DVD+/-RW Drive
That's a brand new core duo laptop with all the trimmings.
Under 1k, the Presario V4000T
can be had with its 128MB X700, 1.6Ghz Pentium M, 512MB RAM for $999, though it would probably be worth it to upgrade the HD for $60 more. If you care more about mobility than gaming, a Dell 700M with a decent dell coupon is a real steal. If you're spending less than 1k you'll have to lean towards performance or portability as the 13.3''/14'' laptops that feature decent graphics are in a slightly higher price bracket.