Hi: I just want to say that I really appreciate your help here; I feel like I'm more confused now than I was when I started looking.
1_What is your budget? Optimally, less than $1500
2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? I'm looking for something with a 14-15 inch screen. (even 15.something, just less than 16 inches)
3_What screen resolution
do you want? I'm not set on a resolution, but have been looking at 1440x900 and 1680x1050.
4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? While true portability is not my main concern (battery life, for example, isn't that important bc it will mostly stay plugged in), I do need something that isn't TOO heavy, due to physical limitations.
5_How much battery life do you need? Again - not my main concern.
6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)? I am not a true gamer, and only have occasional need for that kind of use.
7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.) Photo editing is my major task, but I also need to be able to run a bunch of things (Photoshop, Picasa, Word, and Firefox) concurrently without any problems.
8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need? I have a backup storage drive, but I'd like as much as possible (a lot of RAW files, etc.)
9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post the links to them.
I was looking at the Macbook Pros, but was priced out pretty early. Since then, I've been considering Sony Vaio, and a Dell Studio, but I haven't gotten attached to either option.
10_How long do you want to keep your laptop? This question surprises me, but I guess not everybody wants to keep things as long as humanly possible. I want it to last me a min of 3 years.
11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? Blueray preferred, but it's not a dealbreaker.
12_Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons. My last laptop was an HP, and I had trouble with it from day one: it had to have a new motherboard put in twice during the initial warranty period, and since then I've spent at least $700 on upkeep (new fan, new outlet for AC adapter, new inverter board, two replacement AC adapters, and a couple of other things), so I'm not exactly pleased with HP service or quality. (But am willing to listen to opposing views, since I know I could've just wound up with a rotten apple.)
13_What country do you live in? US
14_Please tell us any additional information if needed. I can't think of any additional info you might need, but I'll be sure to answer if you do.
Thanks for your opinion - I appreciate the input. I suppose the reason I got more confused is just that, no matter where you read, everybody's got a bad story about one brand or another, and it just got the point where ALL I was reading were negative reviews, and they weren't helping at all. So I appreciate it, really.