You might also take a look at the MSI X460DX, on sale at Walmart ATM for $718. There is an interesting notebook that has been released by LG called the P330 but it is only available in Korea ATM. Quite a powerful little computer with a GT 555M GPU. No idea if it will get to the US, but probably worth waiting until after CES next week to see if there is any news. Generally, I would wait till after CES anyway to see what is coming on the market.
So I've been doing research since the last post and come to the conclusion that a Lenovo Y470 best suits my needs. It has a Nvidia GT550M with switchable graphics, core i7, 8GB RAM, 14" screen, nice look, and decent battery life at 3.5-4hrs. And a great price at $760 right now.
The only specs I wish were improved are the battery life and a screen size between 12-13.3". I'm a hardcore gamer on my desktop but rarely on my old M1210. Now that Steam's got cloud, I may play more and want that possibility. Otherwise I mostly watch movies or internet.
Are there any laptops out there within the specs I just mentioned that can improve on the battery and screen size and stay below $1000? Alienware is not an option.
If I do go with the Y470, the outlet has a new one same price with HD increase from 500GB to 750GB, and a step down in processor from "2nd generation Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM Processor ( 2.2GHz 1333MHz 6MB )" to Intel® Core™ i5-2410M (2.30GHz base; 2.9GHz Max Turbo, 3MB Cache). Is there any difference in the processor that's noticeable?