Requesting opinions on gaming laptops

I have been looking to buy a new gaming laptop for the last couple weeks. My budget maxes out at $1770. I know that's pretty specific but here's why. I've built out a few different 17.3" gaming laptops at various websites (Alienware, Satori, Sager, MSI, Asus) and they all come out to be about the same price with the exception of the Alienware because Dell overprices their stuff often. But I could still get an Alienware 17x for about $1800 because I'd get an employee discount. My company was recently acquired by Dell, so I get to cash in on their 17% new desktop/laptop discount. Not sure I want to do that though ...

Here are some key preferences I'm looking for in my laptop:
1.) Matte display. I despise glossy displays.
2.) 17.3" with 1080p.
3.) Torn between a 7970m and 680m. Depends on the price tag.
5.) A CPU that won't bottleneck a 7970m or 680m (i5 or i7? is the price worth the i7? Do I even need an i7?)
4.) Backlit keys

I just want to make sure I get the best for my money, especially at this price range. I'm playing games like Skyrim, Diablo III, Torchlight II, Civ V and a few others. I'd like these games to perform well at high quality settings. Any help is appreciated. I'll answer any questions as best as I can.
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  1. "Requesting opinions on gaming laptops "

    You're wasting your money.
  2. Thanks, smart ass.

    I travel several times a year. There's a reason I want to have a laptop that can handle gaming. If I didn't travel, I wouldn't get one. But since I do, and I often get one day out of those trips where I'm sitting on my duff, I'd like to have the ability to play some of my preferred games. Not to mention I'd like to have it on the airplane or in the car when I'm not driving.
  3. it sounds like u know your stuff and got things covered - I would probably choose the Dell (because of your discount) or Sager second
  4. Turns out Alienware is doing a $200 discount on laptops over $1999. Built out the way I want, it'll just tip over $2000. Final price is $1,824. With the 17% discount factored in after that, final price comes out to $1,513.92. I can't get a Sager NP9170 or even a Valkyrie CZ-17 for that price. Looks like I'm going with Alienware ...
  5. Buy an extra battery or two. :)
  6. From what I'm seeing, battery life appears to be less than 3 hours. Damn, better pick up an extra battery. Oh well, even with another battery, my discount and the $200 off for laptops over $2k is making this deal cheaper than anything else.
  7. you can get a higher capacity battery than the stock, times 2 - something more than 85Wh if possible
  8. Check out The guy that (got banned from here for promoting bahaha) Actually has a pretty decent site and keeps up to date on coupons and such for decent priced gaming laptops. It's about the only source i know of that is good for finding deals on gaming laptops.
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