from your post, i gather that you need the following.
-decent processor [we dont need to go overboard here since all you will be doing is office work and light gaming. however, if you were to define office work as cad, and rendering, and light gaming as heavy bf2 playing, this could change]
-at least 1gb of ram. [this is considered the "Standard" nowadays because of the increasing demand a system has for this precious commodity]
-60gb hard drive [this is a moderate amount of space and should serve you well if office work and light gaming are all you have in mind.]
-a dvd writer is always good to have, as i can tell you that it is something i regret not getting when i initially purchased my laptop.
-since portability is an issue, i highly recommend against a 17" laptop, and point you towards the more portable 14-15" machines, and even a 12".
remember, any of these suggestions can change depending on what kind of office work, and what kind of gaming.
if by office work you mean word, excel, mail, and powerpoint, then these recommendations are fine. however, if by office work you mean something exponentially more intense, then the suggestions would change. the same goes for what you mean by gaming.
right now, what i can suggest to you are the following
this seems like a great solution to your needs. core duo, 14", relatively light, powerful, and decently priced [$1800]
-an alienware of the same configuration costs around $200 usd more than the acer.
-by owning one, i may seem somewhat partial to them, but i am not. something with portability on the mind [a 12" model, the m1210], great performance [identical processor to the w3j, 2 gb ram, 100gb hard drive, dvd burner, dedicated graphics which are comparable to the w3j, and wireless, this seems to fit your needs perfectly. they can be configured at a very low price and offer great service.
other brands that you should look into are ibm, sony [bit overpriced for my taste, but meh], sager, and toshiba