On the warranty, you want to give money to who will actually do the exchange/repair. The stores do not carry parts, service people who can repair the laptops (no part inventory.) They are simply moving boxes. You want the warranty extended by Toshiba, Apple and the like.
I've never owned a laptop/notebook before. Only desktops. Now I think I'm ready to go mobile. But my notebook will be a luxury, not my main workstation. So, I don't want to spend over $1,100.
Toshiba's Satellite's at CompUSA look inviting and will probably handle everything I care to do on a notebook, which is: uploading data files into proprietary portals (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, various institutional mortgage lenders, etc.), pulling credit reports, lot's of data stuff with lots of proprietary sites, downloading music, surfing, email, wireless connecting (802.11b, but maybe to g later), spreadsheets, Adobe Acrobat documents, MS Office stuff, etc., playing MP3's and CD's (like in my backyard with a brewsky), etc.
I can get the Toshiba Satellite A15-S129 for $899; comes with a celeron; or I can get the following Toshiba Satellite's, all in my desired price range:
1135-S1554 for $998
A35-S1593 for $1,099
M20-S257 for $1,099
A45-S120 for $899