My son has the Asus k55n ds81 which is half your budget, doesn't appear to get hot palm areas and 2 year drop and spill warranty. Not SSD but boots up in seconds from it's low power modes. I think it's under the 5.5 too.
I have the tendency to use my laptop on my lap for at east 30 minutes at a stretch. I am looking for one which does not get too hot within 30 minutes. I have used Thinkpads earlier and it was good. Toshiba Satellite were pretty bad in this regard. Any other suggestions?
Other laptop preferences: Window laptop with 14" or 15" inch screen. SSD is great but regular hard disk is ok as well. Need Wi-fi, BT and webcam built in. Doesn't have to be a ultra light but would prefer it be under 5.5 lbs. Also need not be tablet convertible. Budget: Max $1000.