I dunno if this is the right place, but I'm a professional musician---starving as is typical.
And I need a new Win7 laptop for musical use in live performance... as a replacement for a workstation. (What we'd call a 'Rompler'.)
I currently use an old Korg. It's getting to the end and I was about to look at a newer version, but then I realised that this is 2011, plus I already have all the extra licenses/software I need from my studio to do this if I simply connect a MIDI controller and an external USB/Firewire audio interface.
I have no need for anything beyond stereo recording or output. Just need it to be reliable. The other 6 days a week it will be used to browse the web and do e-mail and that's about it. Maybe -any- of the current ones will do what I need (my current laptop is 7 years old and runs a P4 so I'm totally out of touch with what's au courante.)
In desktops, the main thing that really matters for (most) music apps is a 7200rpm drive. Graphics is irrelevant and in fact, most guys I know steer clear of anything with a fan.
I know. But I got it for $500. That's why I'm inclined to stick with it. I don't expect to need Firewire... at least I am -told- that there a lots of decent stereo A/D cards for USB 2.0. Of course, that's my next challenge.
the HP Pavilion dm4-1160us you listed in your OP is over $800
There are also USB 3.0 Express cards available, too