ExCyber is right. The CPU behind so-called "Centrino" systems is the Pentium-M I was referring to in my last post. Never compare that to a Celeron. ... A Pentium-M is a low-power, efficient, fast chip. It doesn't have the clock speed of a P4, but much like Athlons, it doesn't rely purely on clockspeed to perform well. ... But the laptop one is decent on battery life and runs cool, too.
Good. I had some concerns about the processor, but not so much anymore. She spent $1500 on a Centrino system with a 1.5 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, 60 GB HD, CD/RW/DVD Combo drive, built in wireless, and XP Pro. It's a Gateway though, which does have me a little concerned. Her brother has one that seems pretty solid, but he hasn't had it all that long. I guess her parents technically bought it for her as a graduation present, but still. She told me she was going to wait until we got our place to order one, then one day was like "I ordered it." Could have been worse, I suppose
For the GPU, I'd stick with the 9800 Pro, or maybe by then an XT. Who knows, the whole landscape could shift by then. If you succeed in getting a place, just PM me and I'll tell you if my opinion on anything in particular has changed. I frequent Newegg myself, so I have an idea of what they have in stock, too. They aren't always the best in price, but I've never bought from a place with better customer service.
Well, I'll keep an eye out and see what's changed when I go to order. Plus I plan on posting my final choices here so people can give it the once over before I actually buy everything. Though right now it doesn't look like much will change. Most of my primary issues have been addressed. And I still have a few options to consider, but I know they're equally as valid. I appreciate everyone's input and advice!