Hmmm, stepping down from the 8790 into something alittle more mobile might put you at the Sager 3790. I wouldn't consider any notebook that has a desktop P4 to be battery friendly nor too mobile. Granted I can take my 8790 around with me, but I have only about an hour with the battery. If you need some battery life then definitely go with a Dothan. They still have a considerable amount of grunt to move strong apps, yet get pretty decent battery life. The reason why the Dothan can be comparable to a way higher clocked P4 has to deal with its architecture, its manufacturing process, and amount of cache. Dothans are produced from the cream of the crop silicon wafers. They use the best yield area of a wafer for mobile processors because they will produce less heat because they are more efficient being of higher grade silicon and all. (Sorry if this is confusing, I'm no expert on cpu manufacturing, if anybody else has anything to add please do) The Dothan has a greater amount of cache in the processor. (I think 2mb if I remember) while the P4 Northwood has 512kb, and the P4 Prescott has 1mb if I remember correctly. The Dothan can execute some scripts more efficiently there it can make up for its lack of shear ghz with increased efficiency. Think about it this way: The P4 is a muscle car, high horespower-alot of torque, not very aerodynamic, goes fast by brute force. The Dothan is a small refined roadster, that makes up for its lack of horsepower with better handling and lighter weight. (Hope that sorta made sense.)
As for your notebooks suggestions I would have to recommend the 3790. 15.4" widescreen with the WUXGA option for super high resolutions, your choice of Dothans, and the very strong ATI 9700 vid card. You can spec it out the way you want it, and PCTorque will take care of you with support and service. I'm really only familar with Sagers as I don't really follow Dell, or Compaq/HP too much. Hope this info helps you alittle bit. Some others might be able to explain the Dothan alittle better than I can. Thanks.