Oh, and regarding the search for a laptop...

I'd prefer one that obviously won't be a Stupid Piece of **** that Doesn't ******* Work (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AyVh1_vWYQ (NSFW LANGUAGE)). I bring that up because the last laptop I purchased for college (waaaayy back in 2004) was a Sony Vaio VGN S-150 -- the first model of that series, and -- surprise! -- it was an absolutely horrendous piece of ****. I went through 6 hard drives and to this day vow to never purchase an overpriced Sony product again.

So perhaps some people have suggestions or links or spam or whatever. I've browsed through some of the links here in other threads and the selection at Buy.com looks promising (but I'm cautious to purchase a laptop from there, mainly because it's Buy.com. I mean, it's like the Overstock of computing, no? I don't wanna feel like I'm buying a refurb, inbred, secondhand, works-for-a-month-until-the-screen-starts-flickering mobile crap device).

I was looking at a few models at Best Buy the other day that I did like:

Toshiba Portege ($889.99) http://laptops.toshiba.com/laptops/portege/R700/R705-P25

HP Pavilion dm4-1065dx ($779.99) http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/hp-pavilion-dm4-1065dx/4505-3121_7-34121945.html

Sony Vaio VPC-S111FM/S ($1049.99) http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/sony-vaio-s-series/4505-3121_7-33974720-2.html

Samsung Q430-11 ($829.99) http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/samsung-q430-11/4505-3121_7-34121948.html

However, some of those are available ONLY at Best Buy, which leads me to believe there are better deals on Mr. Internet. I like the idea of i5 processors (though I couldn't tell if I'm falling into their marketing ploy by misunderstanding the difference between i3, i5, and i7). I did read through the information from iTechGuy16, who seemed to briefly explain the differences.

Essentially what I'm looking for in a laptop:

-Ability to smoothly run programs like Firefox (with many tabs open), iTunes, Skype, Photoshop, and Office products SIMULTANEOUSLY without lag

-Portability (obviously from the above examples I don't need a giant screen, but need breathing room, so no netbooks. **** that.)

-Sturdy frame (meaning, limited plastic)

-Minimal noise/good ventilation and solid battery life

-Don't need a gigantic HD (I've got a makeshift external I salvaged from that piece of **** Sony, which is more than serviceable to store my MASSIVE amounts of fetish pornography), so whatever is standard should be fine

-Don't need Blu-ray or anything gaming, although decent graphics to watch HD vids would be a plus

Basically, I want good, solid performance, but don't need to spend a ton for design or "known" brands (meaning: I don't need a Macbook since I'm already popular; I did like the sleek design of the Toshiba Protege and the Samsung Q430-11).

Or if it's asking too much: what's the most affordable, reliable, and portable i5/i7 out there?