#1
Mkay, so I'm off to University next year and I'm going to need to buy a laptop.
I'm thinking i can kill two birds with one stone and set it up for recording as well.

Budget would be about 1800AUD for the laptop. Problem is I hear that all the major brands are pretty iffy warranty wise and lack reliability. I'm not enthused about having my equipment breakdown while I'm using it.

specs i was thinking 2.4ghz+ processor, 2gb+ ram and apparently firewire is a must, unless everything I've been hearing about USB2.0 is bogus propaganda. I'm more familiar with windows but if the benefits to running a mac are considerable I would gladly learn.

Anyway, i was hoping someone could point me in the right direction as to a make and model of laptop with reliability within these specifications. Or would it be more wise to build/have one built.

Thanks for your time.
Guitars:
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Gibson Explorer New Century
Gibson RD Artist
Fender American Standard Telecaster

Amps:

Framus Cobra
Marshall JCM800 2203 - 1960A

Pedals:

Crybaby 535Q
Rockbox Boiling Point Overdrive
#2
First I'd say wait till next year when you will absolutely be needing it. For what you're willing to pay now you can get something that's twice or even 3 times as better for half the price. If you must have one now I'd say go for an HP pavillion Laptop or a Dell Vostro Laptop. If you are going to be running vista make sure it's at least a Dual core processor. A single core at 2.4 GHz will barely run a good audio program, on vista. If you're going to get Windows 7 or revert to XP pro it won't be that big of a deal. For RAM definitely get at least 4GB. It takes 2Gb to barely run vista let alone a few other programs. Also I would say get a desktop instead because you can get a lot more for your money, but choose what you will. IF you got any other questions feel free to ask.
#3
whole purpose is a laptop for uni. Atm, the Australian government is trying to give a laptop to every school student so i get between 500 and 1000AUD off, as soon as i finish school, that no longer applies. I don't particularly like vista, if i were to buy a Dell, they're giving people free Windows 7 when it comes out. But i hear bad things about Dell's reliability.
Guitars:
Gibson Les Paul Standard
Gibson Explorer New Century
Gibson RD Artist
Fender American Standard Telecaster

Amps:

Framus Cobra
Marshall JCM800 2203 - 1960A

Pedals:

Crybaby 535Q
Rockbox Boiling Point Overdrive