I would avoid the zd8000 as the Pentium 4 processor in it will run very hot and offer you very little battery life. Sounds like you may be plugged up most of the time but still the heat could be an issue. The DV8000 is a nice laptop but the Graphics processor is not real good. It will not be able to handle any heavy gaming. If you do primarily the type of games that don't require much 3D graphics capability it would be fine. The HP DV4000 is very nice and offers an optional ATI x700 graphics card which can handle just about any game you throw at it very well. You could get one of these easily for between $1200-$1300. Just make sure you order one with the the ATI x700 processor and not the one with the Intel Integrated graphics as there is a big difference. Also, the HP DV4000 does not have a 17" screen but instead has a 15.4" widescreen. I have an HP zv6000 with a 15.4" widescreen and it is very nice and offers plenty of real estate to game with in my opinion. The Brightview is a nice option. I like it as do most people. Basically, it gives you a very glossy look and as long as you are not using it with a lot of light directly behind you I think you will like it. As a comparison think about a picture that you can develop with glossy or matte finish. Most people like the glossy finish as it just plain looks better. Good luck with your purchase!