You definitely really have to compromise a lot for a gaming laptop, the size difference is easy enough to deal with but the gaming power difference per dollar spent is pretty big. I went from a 4 year old but still very powerful Ibuypower rig to a laptop recently because I moved to Korea, and obviously taking a huge desktop rig was out of the question. I still wanted to play newer games like Shogun 2 so I splurged a bit, and ended up getting a 15 inch MSI from xoticpc for about $1500 with a 2.7Ghz i7 and a GTX 670M, and an SSD. I can play any new game pretty well but at some point with the newest games I have to turn down the settings, the 670M is pretty decent but it's just not as strong as my old desktop 470 was.
In picking a desktop or a laptop, I'd ask these questions: - which is more important, gaming power and getting the most bang for your buck, or portability? - are you REALLY going to take that laptop everywhere? A 17 inch laptop is pretty big, and heavy. Even my 15 incher is pretty heavy, and I don't like walking around with it much. I'd go with a desktop if you're not going to be moving around much. And I'd consider a 15 incher, 17 just feels too big to me. If you want a big screen and are ok with dropping the portability requirement, go for a desktop and a 24 inch monitor.
Anyway go on xotic and you can probably get a basic gaming lappy for like $800 or so with a 660M and a basic processor. It wouldn't be great but it would be ok for gaming if you really really just gotta have portability.
Also go with MSI over Sager, I tried a 17inch Sager before getting my MSI and it was a POS. It just felt really flimsy, some of the USB ports didn't work, and the speakers were horrible. MSI's cost just about the same and are waaaay nicer and better made all around.
We cannot base our information on something mystical. It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat.
Thanks for the info! So I have decided that I do really want the portability, and to make things easier, I'm going to make gaming a second priority. I'd still like a laptop that will last me a while, and play more basic things like league of legends, but it sounds as if I'll have to keep playing skyrim on the Xbox360 for a while haha.
And, thinking about it, I guess 17.3" probably is too big, as it sort of takes the portability out of laptops. Between these three systems here, what would you recommend? Or if you know of another system for the same price range? Also, I like the 660M GPU in the ASUS (last link), however, the 14" screen may be too small, and the laptop is a little more bulky for my tastes, but how is it overall? Thanks again for all the responses!