A higher RPM will enable you to save larger files faster, and to access those files in less time.
Make sure you get the highest-end dedicated graphics card, as well.
You can configure a 2.13GHz Pentium M processor with the Dell Inspiron XPS Gen 2. Also with that laptop, you can get 2GB of dual-channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz; this is more powerful than the 2GB of RAM on the Sony Vaio A series you listed.
Note that, however, the only 7200RPM drive that you can configure with the XPS is 60GB. You may want to upgrade this yourself.
HP's highest-end Pavilion laptop, the zd8000, uses Pentium 4 w/ HT instead of Pentium M. Its graphics card is less powerful than the one on the XPS.
I am a flash developer/graphic designer. I am looking for a PC laptop that can publish large flash files (100,000 k) as fast as possible.
I plan to spend the money and max out on processor and memory.
So far the most powerful laptops I've been able to find are:
VAIO A series,
Intel Pentium M Processor 760 2.0GHz
2 GB DDR-SDRAM (DDR2-400, 1 GBx2)