1. What is your budget? Would rather spend below $1200 but could fork out $1300
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 17.3"
3. What screen resolution do you want? 1920x1080
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? desktop replacement
5. How much battery life do you need? doesn't matter
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)? Skyrim - med high, Minecraft - maxed out, MW3 - med, Black Ops - med high, Portal 2 - high
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) Multitasking
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? Only want one HDD so I can later upgrade and add a SSD
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? 3-4+ years
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? Need a DVD Writer, would like a Blu Ray
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. Asus - cool design, good cooling, easy upgrade MSI - cool design, easy upgrade, nice keyboard
13. What country do you live in? US
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
If you want to play games on high at 1920x1080 resolution, then I cannot recommend any laptop within your budget. You need at least a nVidia GTX 570m or Radeon HD 6950 for that resolution. Laptops with those GPUs generally start at around $1,600.
At best you can get nVidia GT 560M in your price range. That should be able to handle medium quality graphics @ 1920x1080.