You are in luck my friend!
Right now I am on that laptop you are speaking of an it is awesome in my opinion. Having owned many, many laptops over the years of every brand. I would consider the HP Probook 4530S that I am currently typing this on to be the best laptop I've ever owned considering what you get for your money.
First I purchased my Probook on eBay and was very lucky to get it for $400. I received it looking brand spanking new with 6 hours of use time on it and was also very lucky that the original owner bought a three year extended "care pack" for it. He bought it for his daughter and she would not use it because it was not a MacBook. Being a doctor and not having money problems he just sold me the notebook he had listed for $500 (what you'll probably pay) off eBay over pay pal with an invoice. (when you find one send the seller a message with your phone number and if you feel comfortable with them ask them if they would like to not lose any $ to eBay and sell it directly over pay pal with an invoice for less. Yes this is against eBay rules, but hey whatever works that's not illegal in my book).
My Probook 4530S came as I said pretty much new with an i5 CPU, 500GB 7200rpm HDD, 4GB DDR3 10600 ram, best Chiclet full sized liquid proof keyboard, finger print scanner that you can use instead of worrying about passwords, and many other great options that come with HP Protect tools that no other company offers. Another very cool option HP business class notebooks come with is called HP Quick view. Quick View is a tool where when you open the notebook you press the quick look button and within a few seconds you are at your email on Yahoo or a Google search page without having to wait for a boot up (which if you read further I will explain my laptop boots to roaming the web in 11 seconds). The notebook also has a very sturdy build and a brushed aluminum casing that in my opinion is much nice looking than a MacBook. The one thing I liked more about a MacBook was the glass touch pad and that is an expensive extra option Apple offers. If HP offered that, this pro book would be perfect.
After I got my $400 Pro Book, the first things I did after the normal checking it out stuff, is upgrade the ram from 4GB to 8GB DDR3 Crucial 10600 ram memory ($40). Next I changed the OEM HDD to a 64GB Kingston solid state hard drive ($50) which yes is much smaller. But to take care of that problem I put the OEM 500GB 7200rpm HDD in an optical drive caddy giving me two hard drives now. I have the speed of solid state without losing the space and I only had to spend ($9) on the hard drive caddy. I than put my blue ray playing optical drive / DVD-RW player into an external optical drive case ($8) that fits the DVD rom perfectly. The case also came in a similar brushed aluminum to match my notebook and even uses USB 3.0 which is actually faster than the original SATA connection it had inside the laptop! Yes, I don't have my DVD drive in the laptop, but how often really does anyone use DVD / CD roms these days with USB flash drives, SD cards, and think about how many people use I Pods! So since I personally only use DVD's when I'm installing software this wasn't an issue for me and even when I want to use it all I do is simply plug it in. So I pretty much end up with two HDD's totaling 560 gigabytes that have the speed of SATA III solid state hard drive flash memory for $67.00. Compare that to how much just one 480GB solid state hard drive costs and tell me the difference isn't worth using the optical drive caddy. I thought so.
The last small addition I made was purchasing a 54mm express card that has three USB 3.0 ports. Since the 4530S has an express card slot that I never see on any other brand of laptop, I was able to add three USB 3.0 ports for $11.00. Yes, eleven dollars is what this card cost over eBay. Now I have SEVEN USB ports, five of which are USB 3.0 and the other two are USB 2.0 because only two of the original USB ports are USB 3.0. I think I'll be ok with seven USB ports and not worry about running out and the three USB 3.0 ports cover the USB port the external optical drive caddy's USB port's use for those who were thinking of using that as a critism. So to summon up how much I've spent: I have $400 in initial purchase and $118 into "upgrades" making a grand total of $518.00 in this notebook with a three year care pack warranty that's good until 2015. I am running a generation 2 IVY bridge i5 processor, 8GB DDR3 10600 RAM, HDD #1 64GB Kingston HDD, HDD #2 500GB Samsung 7200rpm HDD, Windows 7 Professional w/ recovery disks, Biometrics security system, Intergated HP 4000 graphics, 7 USB ports, 15.6 Bright view LCD screen with Matte finish, HP Protect tools, and much more in software, So to answer your question, yes it is very possible to get the kind of notebook you asked about for the price range you have. If you were willing to spend $700 you could get one that has everything I have plus a back lit keyboard and an i7 processor which is just a crazy amount of speed. Especially when you figure my 4530S will boot from ice cold to roaming the internet in 11 seconds. It boots Windows so fast that I can literally begin reading my email before the welcome to windows music plays........Thanks for reading!