If you go to www.x1000forums.com you will see there is an entire Linux section dedicated to the 3 sister notebooks (all same hardware): Compaq X1000, HPZT3000 and HPnx7000 (business).
Ahmandster has even written 2 revisions of Linux just for this notebook and a new release is coming out soon. The forum there will help you to get certain hardware products working that don't initially under Linux: wi-fi, Winbond SD card reader, etc.
The X1000/ZT3000 is a 15.4" widescreen LCD so it is oustanding for some widescreen DVD viewing on the road, widescreen viewing of Excel spreadsheets, etc.
You also can custom order the notebook in WXGA (1200x800 is 1024x768 square screen equivalanet), SXGA or UXGA resolutions.
Also, you can get up to 64mb dedicated video (recommended highly as not upgradeable later), 5400rpm hard drive (50% faster seek times versus 4200), CD-RW/DVD ROM or DVD burner ($200 more), etc. Also you can save $ by custom ordering 256mb RAM or 512RAM 1 stick and then upgrade to a 2nd 512mb RAM stick for under $100 on sale (59.99 after this weekend on sale for Kingston at Fry's Electronics)-PC2700 notebook RAM.
An alternative to this notebook is the Toshiba M35 series with the Trubrite LCD (see M35S456 at Circuit City, etc) or Acer 2025 ----
But the best forum for Linux by far is www.x1000forums.com.
Also, you can get a $100 custom order rebate and a $100 instant discount right now on these models at hpshopping.com
All of these notebooks can be easily carried in a student backpack like a Targus that holds a 15.4" widescreen. The Compaq/HP is 6.5 pounds, the Toshiba is 6.2 pounds (runs a bit hotter and you can feel it around the touchpad area), and the Acer is 6.6 pounds (with 128mb dedicated video option but can't be custom ordered).
Check it out