"Great high-end AMD laptop"5.0 starson by Technojunkie3
Pros: Turion Ultra CPU, excellent Radeon HD 3200 integrated graphics with HDMI, 802.11n and Bluetooth, 12 cell battery, 64-bit Vista, looks cool, 802.11n pairs nicely with my Linksys WRT310N with DD-WRT firmware
Cons: 100Mbps Ethernet instead of 1Gbps, fan is a bit loud
Summary: The 12 cell battery is a BIG plus. It raises the back of the notebook, which aids cooling (less reflected heat, more airflow through the fan) and puts the keyboard at a more pleasant angle. Getting close to 5 hours of battery life is nice too.
802.11n and Bluetooth are welcome upgrades. Being able to transfer pics from my Bluetooth phone without popping out the memory card is nice. The Linksys WRT310N router, upgraded with DD-WRT Linux firmware, works very well with this.
The biggest plus of buying an AMD laptop: the ATI Radeon HD 3200 GPU. It's considerably faster than anything Intel offers, does DirectX 10.1, can handle Blu-ray video (Intel can't), you get HDMI with audio (make sure you have a HDMI 1.3 or newer cable), and ATI's drivers are superior. Being able to switch over to a big external display and speakers with one hotpluggable cable is very convenient. Apple dropped Intel chipsets in their new MacBooks for good reason. Much of the overhyped Intel battery life advantage is lost to the extremely power efficient AMD780M chipset built on TSMC's 55nm process. You're much more likely to notice the very superior ATI GPU over Intel's more modest CPU advantage.
That eSATA port will come in handy if you decide to get an external Blu-ray drive or maybe a RAID1 drive pair for external storage?
My one serious complaint: 100Mbps Ethernet instead of gigabit. It really slows down network file transfers. Not a problem if you're mostly a wireless networker of course.
Best Buy puts these notebooks on sale for $850 every once in a while, including this week. That's the ideal time to buy. Failing that, their price match policy will cover you if it goes on sale a little later. $1K would be a little steep but $850 is about right.
If I were to buy a configure-to-order notebook direct from hp.com I'd buy close to this configuration but with a LED screen instead of Infinity and add Blu-ray. Everything else is in the 1155se.