I just bought the Lenovo Y580 1080P model (Had an open box at 880$).
The laptop is still not shipped and I'm taking a look on the MSI GX60 with a 7970m. I'm more a Intel/nVidia guy but the 7970m just blow everything for the price... (Even better than my Desktop 6950...) Anndddd bluray...
Price : 950$ (Open Box at 880$) (720P Model at 799$)
CPU : AMD Quad-Core A10-4600M processor
OS : Windows 8
Memory : 8GB DDR3 1600MHz, support up to 16GB
LCD Size : 15.6" Full HD (1920x1080) LED backlight, Anti-glare
Graphics : AMD RadeonTM HD 7970M Graphic Card
Graphics VRAM : GDDR5 2GB
HDD (GB) : 750GB SATA
Optical Drive : Blu-ray
There shouldn't be any difference for programming between the two cpu's. Compiling should be speedy either way. The anti-glare is a win in my book. Can always save some more coin and put an SSD in down the road.
The 7970m will bury the 660m, even with the A10 behind it.
The GX60 is clearly the superior laptop for gaming.
The thing is, the GX60 costs a lot more.
The Y580 at $880 is a lot of laptop for not a lot of price.
That's around 2600P in 3Dmark11 at stock.
At $1170, the GX60 hits 4300P or so at stock.
So 65% more gaming performance at 30% more price.
Note for $1100-1200 price range, you could also build a Sager/Clevo with an i7 and a 670mx or maybe a 675mx if you don't need an OS.
670mx is around 3800P and 675 is around 4300P.
If you want to stick with Intel/nvidia, you could spend slightly more and get similar performance.
Note 3dmark11 is a good average of games... but some games like FPS will play much better on the 7970m with any CPU behind it. Similiarly, if you prefer more CPU-limited games, the 675mx and i7 will be a better at RTS games for instance.
The truth is, all of the laptops being discussed are very nice.
It is just about your budget and preferences.
All that we can really do is give you some rough numbers.