From a fellow notebook owner I suggest-
SONY VAIO VGN-AW11Z/B
Nvidia 9600m GT
18" 1920x1080 resolution
Class 2 DX10 Graphics card on par with the nvidia 8700m GT performance level (class 1 is best, while class 6 is worst).Can handle new games with ease (3dmark06 benchmark score of 5170)
The dual core processor is running an excellent Penryn processsor @ 2.5Ghz (lots of power)
Excellent high definition WUXGA display ( I use that resolution myself), and this sytem will easily support blu-ray optical drive (12.7mm optical drives are universal- I can link you to a site where you can get a new notebook blu-ray optical drive (BD-R/BD-RE) for around $300)
When purchasing notebooks I base the value of the computer (and usable life) on how well it will perform playing demanding games without bottlenecking. At a minimum you want a class 3 GPU, and a Dual core CPU @ 2.0Ghz. Anything less will have difficulty with Vista/Applications/and games if you should ever decide to install and play them.
Class 2 GPU
Midrange Graphics Cards - These cards should be able to display all current games with fluent framerates but not all with high detail settings. Especially demanding games like Crysis, Age of Conan, or Mass Effect are only playable with lower settings. Less demanding (and older) games, like Fifa 08, Command & Conquer 3, or Battlefield 2142 can be played with higher detail levels.