My initial plan was to get my Mum a barebones and throw in a spare 20inch monitor I had and 250gb hdd to replace her old dying laptop (which after I've reinstalled XP onto and streamlined it, I'm not sure what to do with).
However seeing upon how much desk space that would have and lack of portability I think I'm after a cheap (well under £500) 17inch laptop now instead. I've seen £299 offerings on HUKD before, obviously those are rare.
The only must I think i'd ask for is that the screen be WSXGA 1680x1050 minimum.
Nice bonus's would be bluetooth/dedicated graphics etc.