I can't freakin believe I'm even considering this...

I'm looking for a laptop to run Windows Vista Home Premium (eventually upgraded to Windows 7), in the $400-$600 range, with a reasonable sized LCD (15" is fine). The laptop must be able to run Windows 7, with the full "Aero theme" or whatever they call it.

Netbooks are not an option - screens are too small, and they mostly run XP. I've looked at quite a few laptops that were relatively light-weight and compact. But I've also seen a few in that price range that were 17" screens and nicely equipped (media drive, including LightScribe, 3GB RAM, etc.).

Obviously I'm a Mac guy, I haven't used a Windows PC in years (for any amount of time anyway), so I've kind of lost touch with which brands are best (I refuse to pay Sony Vaio prices!).

Any 1st-hand knowledge/advice would be welcome.

PS: NO, I'm not switching - just need it for some specific ongoing work - thus the low investment price I'm willing to put into it.
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