HPs are definitely quality laptops for good prices. I customized one for a girlfriend last year and she hasn't been disappointed.
Myself, I was looking for a gaming laptop, so I went the Gateway route. Unforunately, Gateway uses cheap components in their notebooks and I've suffered quite a few head-aches with this thing over time. Dell is good as well, but I've had no personal experience with that company.
Best question I could ask now, what's your budget?
I "WANT" to spend about $1000 or maybe a little less.
But I can spend what I need to spend to get what she wants.
A happy wife is a happy husband :>
I don't need a really fast CPU, but dont want to do any celeron variation.
I don't need high-end GPU, but I would like a minor upgrade.
I would like a RW DVD so she can save her digital pics.
15.4" is probably a good size for ease of typing.
17" tend to be too big and bulky for her.
(The Bigger, Heavier, Hotter, the better for me :>>>>)
It will not be used for a lot of gaming/fast 1st person action games, but I could envision her wanting to play MYST or something like that. Primarily it will be used for Y! games and managing digital pics.