With some tweaking and hacking Blu-ray drive will work for retail Blu-ray movies even without HDMI/HDCP compliant card, i.e. without 7950 gtx. I would recommend 1.8 Core Duo or above CPU though.
Presently PowerDVD Ultra is easiest to use software for playback.
You don't need HDMI to watch HD-DVD/Blu-ray on laptop's screen or to send video out over VGA in PowerDVD Ultra but you need acceptable to PowerDVD video driver. For ATI card Catalyst 1.4 (not 1.5!) is the best one but you need a hack to install it in Dell notebooks. The driver that Dell supplies is not acceptable to PowerDVD. Nvidia owners may need similar approach and Intel GMA owners currently can't use PowerDVD Ultra.
So this way you can connect over VGA to external TV/monitor and still watch retail disks at full resolution. If you need to use DVI connector you will need HDCP capable video card with HDMI or use AnyDVD workaround.
Lastly, price for Dell Blu-ray drive is too high now and I am personally looking to buy one when price falls down to $200