Depends on 'the law of the land' and on how much you want to be annoyed by getting them a bit overzelous after you refusing their request (when they are not allowed to do it).
Remember that there may be 2 or more laws (departure + arrival).
Generally recent anti-terror legislation is interpreted very widely (probably going a bit to far sometimes) so be prepared that they ask you to start up the laptop, get the mediabay out, remove the battery and more of this.
Being friendly and co-operative even if it annoys you, is in my experience the quickest way to get past airport security.
Generally I try to avoid having potentially offensive stuff on my laptop (or in my suitcases for that matter). That's avoiding religious/political/etc. sensibilities. Try to think from the other-perspective here. (so extreme games, offensive music, etc., shouldprobably be avoided).
It is self-censoring, I know, but I don't think airport security is the right place to start changing any of annoyances.
Apart from that customs can ask you about duties (if they think you bought it abroad and are importing it), so proof of ownership and a story about business/holiday use should be ready.
just my 2c