Laptop advice

I could use some laptop advice here. Here's my situation -- I travel a fair amount for work and am in the process of relocating, so I need a new laptop. I don't really need it to be incredibly suped-up, but it would be nice if it could handle an occasional game and last a long time, if I'm getting a good value for it. Basically I like to either buy cheap stuff that I don't mind throwing away in a year, or going the extra mile and buying something quality that's going to last a long time.

Here's what I bought less than a month ago for $900:

17" monitor, 1GB RAM, 100GB Hard Drive, nVidia graphics card, Windows Media Center, Downside: Overheats, and I've come to the conclusion that a 17" monitor is pretty pointless -- the battery is too short to watch DVDs on the road and you won't use it to watch DVDs at home.

Here's what I'm thinking of trading it in for, for $1250:

Looking at the specs, it's less bang, for $350 more. Why am I looking at it? Well, I had a Thinkpad for work for a couple of years, and what I know is that if I buy one, I'll still be using it in 3 years. It'll be completely outdated, and maybe I will have bought another desktop or laptop by then, but I know it will still work perfectly.

Am I crazy here? Am I missing anything else? Is Windows XP Media Center a huge waste? Is the Thinkpad video card too weak to play any games? Are they both too weak? Should I just be happy with what I got?

Thanks in advance.