thanks for the feedback. Is the i5 430M overkill for what I am going to use it for?
If you get a SSD, stick with the faster CPU as you will then not have to worry about having a bottleneck and can keep from upgrading for a while. While you are at it, track down a laptop with decent graphics as well. May cost you another $50 or $100 but will be worth it. edit.. I see you already put that in your specs.