hi all! before i start my work for the night on the site, thought i'd better answer!
i ended up with a Toshiba Satellite series. It's pretty sweet. (that was my best napoleon dynamite impression). 100 gb hard drive, 1 Gig ram, Pentium 4....it's a wide screen monitor....it's oooooh so nice. AND, tax free I might add. The stores are crazy this weekend here in MO with the tax free thing. Gotta love that!