Laptop purchasing is a horrid nightmarish confusopoly, even choosing with the help of Pp who builds his own machines. In the end, I have ordered an Asus N550JK. It will come with Windows 8*, oh no, and it will no doubt take three days to ensure it is all set up as I want it. Drattitude.
* Before anyone pops up to say 'why not another OS'...- I'm sticking with Windows. I fully expect Windows 8 to be baffling and horrible, but any OS I don't know is bound to be baffling and horrible, and this way at least I should be able to keep most of the software I know how to use. Just the idea of going through it all to find out if it will all run on anything else fills me with dread, let alone the idea of having to find non-Windows alternatives and learn their quirks. I like learning, but not that kind!
Don't get me wrong, I love Linux as a server OS, everything I build is hosted on Linux and I turn away any work that requires a Windows server. But for a desktop machine, I want my oooooold familiar horrible applications that have calcified habitually around me like a shell over the years. I did briefly consider going cloud-based with a Chromebook, but I have enough hassle with Google randomly changing their mind about their web interfaces all the time, I would like to keep some control!