I visited Best Buy and it was a real eye-opener. Turns out that the EXACT configuration I am looking for (4GB RAM in a 15-16" screen) is available there in 5 different models from Toshiba, Dell (2), Gateway, and HP.
Online I had a hard time finding that configuration so this was a pleasant surprise.
Here is the breakdown from top down in price:
1) HP 4GB/320GB/16"/Core 2 Duo T6500/5:15 battery life @$700
2) Toshiba 4GB/320GB/16"/Core 2 Duo T6500/7:10 battery life @$$650
3) Dell 4GB/320GB/15.6"/Core 2 Duo T6500/5:30 battery life @$650
4) Dell 4GB/320GB/15.6"/Core 2 Duo T6400/3:00 battery life @$600
5) Gateway 4GB/320GB/15.6"/Athlon 64 x2/3:00 battery life @$480
As you can see, other than the Gateway AMD, they are all pretty much the same except for battery life. All have same RAM, HDD, about same screen, and about same processor. As far as I can see, there is not much difference between 1-3 except that the Toshiba is a way better battery, and that's actually a big issue with me (I just spent $200 on a new battery for my current Toshiba).
Another consideration is shipping and tax in store vs. online. The Toshiba at Newegg I pay no shipping and no tax, while I pay tax in the store. The only difference there is that the Newegg Toshiba is a T6400 vs. 6500 in store.
With Dell I do have to pay tax online as well as shipping so I think I'd be better off buying the Dell in the store vs. online. Plus it's in stock whereas if I order online from Dell it takes 2 1/2 weeks.
So...I'm leaning towards this:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834114605
Again, the same exact item at Best Buy (except it's T6500 vs. T6400 online) is the same price. But I pay tax at Best Buy (about $45) whereas there's no tax or shipping from Newegg. And I don't think it's worth paying $45 in tax just to go from a T6400 to a T6500. I don't think I'd notice the difference.
I think Best Buy's extended warranty program is also more than what they have online at Newegg.