Re: recording with a laptop
You CAN get a PC laptop that's every bit as good for recording. The problem is, most of them aren't necessarily made for it, so you have to know what you're looking for and order it as you need (or buy what you need aftermarket).
1) a high quality front end. PCMCIA card or external firewire box with as many ins & outs as you'll need. USB can also work well, but isn't quite "built from the ground up" for this purpose as the other two.
2) A separate storage drive. Preferably both drives should be 5400RPM (instead of 4200). 7200RPM would be nice, but also louder, hotter, and more battery draining.
3) At least 512MB RAM. Some people will say even more. But definitely not 256MB on an XP box.