1. Cheap as possible to accomplish smooth 1080p playback on my TV, good battery life and 14-15.6" screen. I'll be using it for school which is a lot of excel and for at home use playing videos on my TV. That is all I need it to do so my budget is cheap as possible to accomplish these tasks.
3. Doesn't matter
5. 4 hours minimum for browsing internet and working on excel, preferably 5-6.
7. 1080p video to my TV and Excel (I'm talking big huge excel files that take minutes to open.)
8. 250gb is more than enough
9. No preference, whichever is cheapest and can ship to Canada
10. Until it breaks
11. Don't need one
12. No preference
So basically the cheapest notebook that has 4+ battery life, can work with excel spreadsheets and can play 1080p video to my TV without a hiccup.
All have dedicated numberpads except the 14" MSI FX420
All have HDMI output for audio and video output to your HDTV except the lenovo G560
All will handle 1080p video playback. The lenovo G560 is slightly underpowered for flawless playback but fine for most common DVD videos. The Z565 is slightly better while the MSI CX640 & MSI FX420 have dedicated video cards for flawless playback (and some some light 3D gaming).
The Z565 is slighly underpowered in CPU performance. G560 is slightly better while the two MSI notebooks have an entry level Sandy Bridge CPU which are probably the best choices for moderately heavy duty Excel work.
Battery life should be around 4-4.5hrs in battery saving mode. With Wifi/web browsing or moderate Excel work it's probably more like 3.5-4hrs. For anything longer than that you'll want to look at more expensive, longer life models. Or order a custom laptop with a long life battery.
Of the ones listed here I like the MSI CX640 15.6" $600 best for what you want to do.
There are other options in the same price range ($600-$650) with the same relative performance. MSI CX640 15.6-inch Notebook Review (different CPU in the review but all else should be the same).