Laptops buying recommendation?

My friend is looking for a new laptop. He’d like something that can play WoW without burning his crotch off, and maybe handle some other light gaming (nothing too hardcore). He’ll also use it for hanging out about the house, cruising the web, etc. When playing some games, he’d like to dock it (or at least faux-dock it), connecting to a larger monitor, keyboard, etc.

All told, he’s looking to keep it in the $1000 range, although he’s flexible up to about $1150.

At this point, I don’t even really know any BRANDS to point him to. Dell seems to have a good mix of brands for the XPS line, but the customization options seem pretty limited a lot of the time, sticking him with an 8400GS (which seems to be an underperformer).

Any ideas on what he should look at?

if you can stand ugly looking orange highlights, the gateway laptop is the best bang for the buck gaming machine with discrete graphics.