The CPU is pretty sweet IB boost up to 3.1 Ghz (i5/dual core)
1 TB HDD (I would personally sell it and buy a nice 256GB SSD with the money and your savings from $1000 budget, but thats me, I am not afraid to strip them down and rebuild laptops... have done several)
8Gig of RAM is totally fine.
The worst aspect of it is the screen @ 1440x900 though that is not terrible by any means. It is better than HD (ready) but shy of FULL HD. I bet it is slick anyway. You don't really need insane-o res on small screens. I have a 50" plasma @ 768 and it is fine for me.
I think it would be a pretty sweet machine for your budget.