To follow up and close out this story, I took the above words to heart and created a system image as a back up.
However I wanted to see if the restore disk from the other Toshiba would work, so I tried that first.
To my surprise, the process worked without a problem what so ever!
I got the benefit of an updated Win 7 OS vs. Vista, and I only had to load two drivers for the different hardware in the older A500 Satellite configuration, vs. the M500 newer laptop. Both OS's were 64 bit, so I don't think that had anything to do with the success, but it's worth stating.
MS Updater had 76 OS updates for me, 3 hardware driver updates and CNETdotCOM got me all the utilities I need to keep my girlfriend from needing me to do this again in six months
Thanks for the advice folks!