I understand the Mac boosting, but for PC laptops you can't beat a Thinkpad. VERY rugged (never had one fail. At Dulles, one was pushed over the edge to the concrete floor at security-the only proble was a wire came lose from the screen.
I have a 1920x1200 at home, but it is heavy (7lbs) but just got a Z61 to travel-1400xsomething screen and 4lbs
for firewire, use the PCMCIA (whatever!!) slot with 6 pin adapter (usually 2-3 of them)
a little more expensive, but a LOT more reliable
I guess its Lenovo now, but still IBM quality