mmmm.... dell has pretty good notebooks. I bought one a month and a half ago, with 2.3 ghz CPU, 128 graphics, 60gig HD, 256 RAM, and a really really nice sound system for only 1,200. Now to upgrade that ram and CPU, you still have 800 bucks left, so I'm sure you can find a solution there. I dont like Dell Desktops, but their notebooks are good. You can also try IBM if you need more quality and less weight and stuff, but they're pretty expensive, i'm not sure what the price would be.
By the way on this dell notebook I'm using, the Inspiron 8600, can run Unreal Tournament 2004 without a problem, though i definitaly need a RAM upgrade, because I go slow on the internet.
Hope that helped