1. What is your budget? Up to $1000 but if necessary maximum of $1200
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? Either a 15 inch or 17 inch
3. What screen resolution do you want? 1920x1080
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? No
5. How much battery life do you need? Doesn't matter, will be plugged in 99% of the time.
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)? Definitely. Call of duty on high, skyrim high/medium, NFS high, minecraft.
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) Surfing the web, watching some movies
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? Minimum 500gb
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? minimum of 3 years
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? I would love a blu ray but on my budget idk. I need a DVD
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. The Asus laptops with air venting out the back seem cool. But any brand would work.
13. What country do you live in? USA
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. I would like a back lit keyboard but it's not a need. I need at least a quad core 2.2 ghz processor from Intel. And I prefer Nvidia cards, the 550m and 560m look good.
Dell XPS 17 2nd gen Core i7 17" Laptop ~$1150 has everything on your list and a bit more.
Core i7-2670QM 2.2GHz CPU, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD (2x500GB 7200rpm RAID0), 17.3" 1920x1080 LCD w/ GT 555M graphics.
Blu-Ray burner, backlit keyboard, JBL 2.1 speaker system, Bluetooth 3.0 and USB 3.0.
And with a GTX 560M upgrade: ASUS G53SX 15" notebook $1200
Core i7 2670QM(2.20GHz) CPU, 8GB RAM 500GB 7200rpm HDD, 15.6" 1920x1080 LCD w/ GTX 560M
DVD burner, Bluetooth 3.0 and USB 3.0. 2yr warranty, 1 Year Accidental Damage warranty.
The general consensus is that for gaming laptop you get the best GPU you can afford. And since you can stay plugged in 99% of the time the GTX 560M graphics card probably helps meet your longevity goal of 3 years with reasonably good gaming capability.
It's 'what's inside' that mostly determines how much a laptop costs and how well it performs.
15" lighter and better portability. 17" has more room for features or improved engineering (better cooling for higher end graphics cards and a 2nd HDD/SSD bay, for example). For some people a 15" 1920x1080 resolution LCD results in text being too small.