I have an iPod touch 1st gen, and it doesn't have as good a range as a laptop. You said that where you are, you get low signal strength on your laptop. So, I imagine your just too far from the router. You might find where the router is, and see if you can move it too a higher place where there are no metal objects (file cabinets or something like that) between it, and your room/house.
I have a second generation Ipod Touch and it will not connect to the wireless internet I use at home. I live in a small housing complex. We have a internet hot spot. My laptop connects fine although it only always has a low signal strength. However, my Touch will not even pick-up the network as an available network.
Does anyone have any idea why and/or any suggestions to fix it?