Considering how light of usage this would be, just about any laptop would do fine. Since you would like to go to Best Buy and look at it, you may just as well do that. Generally Best Buy, Walmart, and others have weekly deals, and picking up such a laptop would be a good bet.
Otherwise, I generally think a Dell Studio 15 would be great, or the Thinkpad Edge.
Yeah, I'm not really worried about whether the laptop will do what she wants - any machine these days would. I guess I'm mostly concerned with quality, decent LCD (older eyes), and warranty support. I've only owned one higher-end Dell XPS and my Envy so I'm not really familiar with the lower end of the market.
In terms of warranty, ASUS usually has a good warranty. If you pick one of their CULV laptops that might just do the trick.
One such example is the ASUS UL80Vt- A2. A summary of the specs is:
1.3GHz Intel SU7300 Core 2 Duo Processor
4GB of DDR3 1066MHz RAM
320GB Hard Drive (5400 RPM)
Super Multi Optical Disk Drive
14-Inch Widescreen HD LED LCD Display
NVidia G210M Graphics with 512MB DDR3 + Intel GMA 4500MHD (Switchable VGA)
Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit) Operating System
8 Cell 5600mAh Battery
The price is a little out of your range at approx $720 but I think it is worth the price.
Another, less expensive alternative, CULV would be the Lenovo Ideapad U-450p. The specs include:
1.3GHz Intel ULV Processor
3GB (204-Pin) DDR3 SO-DIMM Memory
250GB 5400RPM Serial ATA Hard Drive, DVDRW Drive
14" (1366x768) 16:9 LED Display, Intel GMA 4500M Graphics
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Up to 6 Hours of Battery Life
The price on this one is more "pocketbook friendly" at approx $590.00.
Going with the Vostro. Found a $200 off coupon for a higher-end u450p IdeaPad but the Vostro had pretty much everything it did for the same price, plus a better warranty. Thanks for the recommendations!
Good choice. We took delivery of it yesterday, and except for the crappy touch volume keys, it's quite good. Good build quality, good touchpad, good performance, good display, decent keyboard when you get used to it, decent battery time (managed 3-ish hours of xvid playback in mpc hc using ffdshow tryouts, streaming from my laptop using win 7s home group at 75-100% brightness and balanced power setting).