The good news is that you've found this website dedicated to users discussing laptop computers. So you're definitely in the right place to get some actual user experience and opinions. The bad news is that you've posted to a part of the website dedicated to laptop computer users who want to talk about running the Linux OS on their laptops. My suggestion would be that you repost to other sections of the website to get a better response to your questions. And having gone that far I would suggest one other thing. Reworking your post so that you not ask for responses across such a broad range. For example, you mention wanting to get information on 2 models each of Toshiba, Sony, and Gateway laptops. Specifically you want to see whether or not they come with the following;
Intel Wireless Support (which is Centrino tech.) b/g support being the most common
DVD writer (most all DVD writers also write to CDs)
Long battery life (maybe specifying a desired time would help.. like 3-4 hours)
You might also try and see whether or not screen size and/or weight are important for your nephew. As someone who travels for my work, weight is a big factor for me. You may also need to consider whether or not the laptop has a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) with dedicated memory, or whether it shares system memory. The GPUs with dedicated memory are very hot items for people who like to play a lot of the latest games, the downside being lower battery life. So make sure you find out how much games or graphics performance, your nephew will want. The more you are able to narrow down your list of requirements to specifics, the more focused (and helpful), your responses will be.
Once you have your list of requirements, my suggestion is to go to each of the separate sections here on Notebookforums, Toshiba, Sony and Gateway, and ask the users there about their experiences with the specific models of laptops you are interested in, relative to your requirements. In other words when you formulate your post for the Toshiba forum ask the users what they know about the Qosmio F15-AV201 and the Satellite M45-S331, ONLY, relative to your requirements list above. Then go to the Sony forum and ask them about the VGN-S360, and VGN-FS570, etc. You should be able to get a series of responses from people who have actually used the laptops you are curious about, and this information can be part of your buying decision..