Thanks for all the suggestions folks made above. I pulled the trigger night before last and picked up an HP Probook down at Microcenter. As with any computer purchase I'm sure there'll be something twice as good at half the price tomorrow but I feel like this will meet my needs and was available immediately.
With tax, the machine was about $800, I got the fulll MS Office Pro 2010 package for another $120 from eValueSoftware.com with an office in, of all places, Park City UT (at least I'm helping support someone's turns!). I really wanted to go the Open Office route but thought about the possibility a client being unable to open a file or vice versa, went to the Dark Side.
Maybe I'll put Linux on the old laptop that's in the closet now so I've got a functional backup. This little machine seems a lot better value than anything else that was easily available. I love that it's got a nice big screen and a numeric keypad.
Here are the specs on the Probook (running Win 7 in Windows Classic mode). Hopefully this will give me a few years before it gets the Windows Blues.
Intel Core i7-3632QM Processor 2.1GHz
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)
8GB DDR3-1333 SDRAM
750GB 7,200RPM Hard Drive
SuperMulti DVD Burner
Multimedia Card Reader
15.6" HD LED-backlit Display
Optimized for Genuine Windows 7, the ProBook 4540s laptop computer is ideal for small businesses.. It offers multimedia tools, easy to - use security, and aluminum casing for added protection. Gain discrete graphics and battery - saving mode. This business notebook combines Intel technology andvarious wireless capabilities with a 15.6 - inch HD diagonal display. The aluminum casing offers extended durability to keep up with mobile use. The smudge - resistant and wear - resistant HP DuraFinish keeps the metallic gray color looking polished. The spill - resistant keyboard helps protect sensitive electronics and key components from minor spills with a thin layer of Mylar film under the keyboard. Accidents happen. HP 3D DriveGuard helps protect your laptop's hard drive against impact, bumps and drops so your data has enhanced protection.