The quandary of buying a new laptop

Whoops! Accidentally posted this in the wrong forum (indeed, the wrongest forum on QT3)! Sorry about that. Fixed now. :)

So I’m thinking now’s finally the time to give in and start looking for a new laptop. I’ve had my current since 2001 and it has served me well (its a Toshiba) but its getting to the point where I’m wondering how much longer it can keep up. For instance, the fan goes nuts if I’m running another application while looking at intensive web sites (flash or java games or just lots and lots of stuff) and though it isn’t slow, sometimes it gets so hot it just shuts down. I definitely want to be able to save what I have here and transfer it to my new computer as well.

The thing is I can’t break the bank on this new laptop either (if you think I spend a lot on games, the truth is I get a great deal of them for free or very cheap, and no I don’t pirate!) but I absolutely want something that will be able to keep up with the newest games for at least a few months. In addition, it has to be able to play the games I can’t play right now, which includes the likes of NOLF2, Tron 2.0, Painkiller, Syberia 2, Pirates!, Thief 3, Half-Life 2, Rise of Nations (for some odd reason, it should run), Sim City 4, Rome: Total War, KOTOR 1 and 2, Gothic 2 and maybe even World of Warcraft. I’d also like to be able to play Neverwinter Nights faster and run Morrowind on my own computer. Japanese games are no worry since they tend to put tons of effort in making them able to run on slower machines.

Right now I’m running on a pathetic 700 Mhz Celeron, with 192 MB of RAM and some worthless pre-included 4MB graphics card that I can’t upgrade and 40 GB of hard drive space. So I’d definitely like significantly above that for something around the range of $1,100 to $1,500 in American dollars, I can’t go above $2,000. Obviously, I don’t expect many people here to know what’s available in Japan and I certainly am leery of importing a machine, given the extra price, things that can happen in shipping and the fact that the computer’s OS won’t be in Japanese, which is a big NO NO. Beyond some wonky casing problems and a hard drive failure (which may not have been theirs, but its certainly their fault for choosing that partner, if so), I’ve had good experiences with the two Toshiba laptops I’ve owned, should I go for them again or someone different this time?

So I should just keep on waiting or is there already something out there that would fit me? I’ve read a lot of the laptop threads here, but I don’t feel like any of the suggestions fit with my situation, hence the new thread.

Also, how do I transfer my old stuff to the new laptop when I do get it, I’ve heard about/ seen transfer cables that you plug into both machines, but I wonder how it would know about your settings and your registry, isn’t that important for programs to run correctly too in many cases? In many cases, I borrowed older games and then either found a crack or a way to permamently have them on my hard drive, it was the only reasonable way to collect a significant amount of oldies without stuff piling up to the ceiling and not doing so illegally. I wonder how many of these would be affected? I do have DOSBox…

I still have a lot of classics to go through (currently on Dragonsphere and Realms of Arkania) so I’m not out of material to play, but I’m getting antsy to play all these games I read about in the games forum and actually be able to participate in the threads (I’m not Koontz, ya know).

Thanks for any help offered!