Get a Dell Inspiron XPS, man. Those this are awesome.
If you're planning to take it to class, go with the highest-configuration Dell Latitude X1. I guess that will be around US$3500. Probably too expensive for a first college laptop.
For a brand-name system capable of moderate 3-D gaming and multitasking, consider a system with at least 512MB of RAM and a dedicated graphics card (e.g., ATI RADEON or nVidia). That's going to be around $1500.
Basically, look for these features:
=Lightweight (<5 pounds) if you want to travel with it.
=At least 512MB of RAM for multitasking/IM'ing; 2GB is probably overkill
=Probably want a mobile processor such as Pentium M to save power (1.6GHz Pentium M or better)
=Dedicated graphics if you want to play games.
I'm starting college in the winter and I am in need of a laptop. What should I look for? What should I buy? If price was not an option, which one would I choose? If price was an option, which should I choose? please help