The D820 is an adequate gamer. I can play HL2, Battlefield 2, Star Wars Galaxies, Quake 3 (though that's a big duh). All quite well. I can get HL2 to be rather playable with the graphics turned up at native res of the LCD, Galaxies I have to turn a few things down, but otherwise it still looks as pretty as it can. BF2 I play a 1280x1024 (Because running it at native either stretches the image, or chops off portions of it). Still quite playable at that resolution with things like dynamic light and shadows turned on.
As for build quality, I'm pleased with mine, no rattles, squeaks or anything. The LCD hinges are very tight and the panel doesn't flop around like a dead fish.
Battery life is excellent on the 9 cell. I get over 4 hours on it. About 6 or so with the modular bay battery installed.
As for installed bloatware, if you buy a NEW latitude, not from the outlet. You don't have ANY software apart from Windows, drivers, Quickset, and anything that came with your chosen optical drive (burning software, Power DVD). There's also the Embassy trust suite that you need if you get the integrated fingerprint reader. It's a big install, and uninstall. But it does nothing to hamper the machine's performance.