If having last year’s model doesn’t bother you, you can currently get a fast 17-inch gaming laptop – the Asus Republic of Gamers G71GX – with 6GB of RAM and an Nvidia GTX 260M for a “mere pittance” ($799).
I stumbled on this one by accident while browsing for new laptops and there were only a couple of units left at the time of writing. It says on Amazon that it’s refurbished but strangely when you visit the product page it says “condition: new”.
At any rate, the hardware in that machine is worth a lot more than $799; a Core 2 Duo P8700 at 2.53GHz, 6 gigs of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and last but not least the GTX 260M, which runs most new games with all the eye candy turned on. On the downside, the screen resolution is just 1440×900 and it most likely comes with Vista.
Notebookcheck.net posted a review of the G71GX a while back and it delivered just over 9,500 points in 3DMark 06, albeit with a slightly faster CPU.
View the Amazon Product Page [expired]