I finally placed an order for a new laptop. I bought Dell's Inspiron 300m
Dell - Dell Home Systems Inspiron 300m Notebook with the following additions..
60GB hard disk instead of the standard 40 GB.
Dell TrueMobile® 1300 WLAN (802.11b/g, 54Mbps) miniPCI Card (I think having 802.11g support is a great to have)
128MB dell USB key
24X CD/RW / DVD combo (I was tempted to buy the DVD RW .. oh well) ...