Thanks!Wow ~ I just got online for the first time and am so happy to see everyone's advice!
First - to address my needs - I don't have to keep it on my lap all the time - but I would envision using it in bed at night or something. Just for a little while. I have an old old Inspiron 3100 that I use on my lap - it gets really hot, but I don't really care - although maybe it's making those loud grinding noises right now because I've been blocking the fans on it for the past 4 years? Hmm! Anyhow - also weight in general is not an issue - whether for carrying (which I wouldn't do very often if ever) or having on my lap or anything like that.
The one thing I can say for certain that I will not do on my laptop is play all these fancy games that everyone seems to play. I'm pretty much a solitaire kind of gal - that's enough for me. I really do hope to do a lot of home video, picture organizing, slide show types of things - that's what I'm really looking forward to - and, of course, web surfing that is not annoyingly slow like my current laptop.
I am set on a 15.4" display - so i8600 or i9100 definitely.
From reading all posts yesterday, I had already decided on 60G with 7200RPM. The whole video thing is not completely important (although it might be nice to watch a dvd on it?) - anyhow - was just going to go with 64MB video card.
Yes - my $2500 configuration (really it was more like $2400) DID have a new 745 processor rather than the 1.6GHz (another $100 or so is just with silly software I got sucked into). I'm pleasantly surprised to see people agreeing that I could go with the cheaper one. I was going to do the SXGA+ though - so that made it a little more pricey.
I'm definitely no computer wizard and I'm sure will be pleased with whatever I get just because it will be so drastically better than what I have now. But, on the flip side, cost is not a huge factor, so part of me wants to just get the best thing I can afford, - but without going overboard -you know? I guess it's a fine line and I"m not sure if I've crossed it?!
It's so silly - before yesterday I didn't even know what ghosting and light leakage was and now I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I get a new Hitachi or Samsung and not the old Hitachi! What's happening to me!? (don't worry - I'm not going to rush to return if I get a Hitachi - I guarantee I'll keep whatever I get!)
Thanks again and I look forward to reading any more advice, info based on what I just wrote! Thanks!