Laptop trio - decisions decisions...

I'm currently in the market for a laptop. I would be using it primarily for portable gaming, surfing, watching movies.

Criteria: Budget $1k-$1600, 15-17" display, higher the res the better, battery life isn't too important. enough for a couple hours would be nice. HDD storage I am thinking 7200 rpm 320G. I've had my 500G on desktop for a couple years and haven't had it half full yet. Bluray is nice but I don't feel it is worth the extra cost. I plan on playing Diablo3 if it ever comes out and some other MMO games. (AoC, Eve, AO)

I'm looking for some advice, feedback on the three systems I've narrowed my choice down to.
1) Sony Viao F-series I7-720QM 1.6Ghz, 4G RAM, 500G 7200 HDD, 16.4" display 1920x1080, Nvidia GT330M 1G VRAM, 3 yr warranty, $1331

2) ASUS G Series G51JX-X1 NoteBook Intel Core i7 720QM(1.60GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 500GB HDD 7200rpm DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce GTS 360M 1920 x 1280 res (newegg item # N82E16834220700) Warranty- 1yr accidental, 2yr parts/labor price- $1299

3) Dell Alienware M15x - configurable. once I got the specs to match the Sony and ASUS, the price was up to $1899. Does it wash dishes too? Are they just overpriced? I know they made good stuff before Dell bought them out, but am I just paying a bunch of money for the name now?

The pluses with the Sony is it is configurable. I could add some RAM or upgrade the CPU to the 1.73GHZ (+drop the HDD to 320G) and the price still stays under $1600. Is the 360M in the ASUS that much better than the 330M in the Sony? Build quality? I could drop the 3yr warranty on the sony and go with standard and go up to 6G RAM. Would I notice the performance gains?

Thanks in advance,
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  1. To me, alienware always been overpriced, and sony arent far behind in my own opinion.
    Out of the three, easily the asus g series laptop, would give you the best gaming performance easily
  2. Even with an upgrade to the I7-820QM in the Sony does the GT330M bring it down that much vs the ASUS GTS 360M + I7-720QM ?

    There is probably a thread somewhere that compares the GT330M vs the GTS 360M, I'm just burned out on researching at the moment.

    I thought i'd also point out that the RAM on the ASUS is DDR3 1066, where the RAM on the Sony is DDR3-SDRAM-1333. I'm not trying to find a reason not to go with the ASUS, I'd just like to know why it would easily outperform the Sony.

  3. Gaming performance = graphics card more than anything
    Thatll compare 330 to 360... 54th for 330m compared to 27th for the 360...
    Not much different CPU wise, didnt really check, but huge difference GPU wise, graphics card matters most for gaming. As for the ram, the difference thats going to make is so little you wont be able to notice it in even 90% of benchmarks
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