Or are there better in this range? I need a new one for school. Battery life isn't a concern since I'll usually be plugged in. I do everything primarily from my laptop, so it is basically a desktop replacement. Minor video editing. 2007 was when I last purchased a laptop so I don't know what's good anymore.
If you're going to get a 15" laptop you should find one with a screen resolution of at least 1600x900. Also don't bother with a touchscreen unless the laptop can fold into a tablet. Vertical touchscreens are useless.
MacBook Pro with Retina Display | 15.4" 2880x1800 | Core i7-3615QM @ 2.3GHz | 8GB DDR3 1600MHz | GT 650M 1GB GDDR5 | 256GB SSD | OSX 10.8.4 | Windows 8 Pro