If you find a laptop with a C2Q I'd not consider that.
However in that price range for gaming we shop for the usual. That is the AMD A10 based laptops. The office has one and it games.
My old laptop (Sony Vaio E Series Notebook VPC17EBFX) currently is in repair, and the price for hardware replacement comes out just below $500, so I was thinking I could just try to find a laptop around that price, and if I can't, I'll just pay for the replacement.
Regarding how well it needs to be to play games, most of the games on my PC are old anyways, but I would like it to be good enough to be able to play shadow warrior which requires these system specs (since I've been having trouble playing it on my laptop, even at the lowest settings):
OS: Windows 7 SP1 64-bits
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad 8200 / AMD Phenom X4 9950
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4890 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 or better
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Hard Drive: 8 GB available space