Well, you know I'm a Mac guy, but assuming you're wanting to stay PC, I'll second what Bocephus said. I've got a PC, too, and it's a 64 bit laptop. I wouldn't go less than that. It shouldn't set you back too far. I think my laptop was on sale for about $550 w/a 17" screen. If it's going to replace the desktop, go for a large size screen. When I got mine, going from 2-4 gig of ram, from 32-64 bit, and from 160-320 gig hd, and from 15"-17" for a whopping $150 difference. That's what you call a bargain.