If you read some of the moderator's (Bob Probert) you will find out his negative experiences with Sony service.
And, in the recent PCmagazine survey of major US desktop and notebook manufacturer service ratings Sony came in last by far in both notebooks and desktops (IBM was #1 in notebooks -- Dell,Toshiba, and HP/Compaq were all bunched in the middle).
With the emergence of wi-fi on the road (Tmobile at Starbucks or at Airports, etc) it is ideal to get a full featured notebook that can still be transported easily and also allow at least 3.5 - 4 hours battery life (Intel Pentium M processor -- Centrino notebooks).
Also, a 15.4" LCD gives you maximum versatility for spreadsheets, widescreen DVD's, etc while still weigh in at 6.5 pounds (and can be easily carried in a notebook backpack). These all have the Intel Dothan Pentium M processors (715 or higher) available as well with 2mb L2 system cache.
Check out the Consumer Toshiba M35 (10% off online) or retail M35S456 (on sale this week at CompUSA for $1799 -- regular $1999 -- has DVD burner and it is fully loaded. this has the new Trubrite LCD -- check this out.
The Toshiba Techra is similar to the above but it only has a 14.1" LCD and costs more as it is the business line and it weighs about 5.5 pounds.
The Compaq X1000/HPZT3000/HPnx7000 (business) line is similar to the above in a 15.4" widescreen -- you can get $100 custom order rebate and a $100 instant rebate right now by ordering custom at hpshopping.
Note there are other similar forums for the zd7000 also so you should look for those if you are considering them.
Also, see notebookforums.com for Toshiba and Dell.
whatever you order make sure you get a notebook with dedicated video RAM and not shared or integrated or you limit what you notebook can run later --it is not upgradeable easily as on desktops without space and proprietary notebook restrictions.