In this instance, you should opt for more cores, and more memory. None of the apps listed takes a lot of CPU power, but running them all at once will keep a single core or even a dual core at 1.8ghz pretty busy. And with all the power saving features laptops have that slow things down even more, well, I can certainly understand your frustration.
Up until a couple of years ago I was stuck using a 2ghz P4 with 512 meg of memory, and yet they had upgraded our WAN to an exchange server, and wow talk about tossing out the anchor. It took forever to do even simple office tasks, like 5 minutes just to boot and log onto the network!