HP Quad-Core PC (Refurb) With 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Blu-ray ROM & LG 23in 1080p LCD Monitor ... $900 CAD (~$830 US)
See?...this is what is taunting/tempting me.
But, then I'm back chained to the desk.
Actually the current responses seem to point towards a desktop as opposed to a laptop. I must admit that the portability of a laptop is enticing but bang for the buck still seems to favor desktops.
What I am sort of thinking in the way of a compromise is to buy a desktop and also a netbook (one with a hard drive). The netbook (or laptop) is to use it as a card dump and prelim viewer (Irfanview/FastStone) leaving all the heavy lifting/manipulation to the desktop. Plus I would still get the capability to write the next best seller or at least send an email or two.
So it's pretty much a decision to go with the desktop as the main.
Of course that brings all other kinds of questions...Intel vs. AMD, what CPU, what speed, how much ram, how big a hard drive, room for additional drives, video card (must handle dual monitors), etc., etc....but at least I have a focus now.
Thanks to all who responded. I had already been leaning in the one direction and your comments have solidified that.