Well, after looking around, I've decided that a 17 inch is probably more screen real estate than i need. I'll probably go with a 15.6 inch laptop.
Problem is, the systems I'm looking at are all Windows 8. Very few Windows 7 systems. Windows 8 means the possibility of UEFI. Which means I can't install Linux.
I want to get something used or refurbished with Win7. Then, install PCLinuxOS.
Slim pickings because of he push of Windows 8. And it seems manufacturers and retailers are really pushing it.