I'm not great with the laptop market, but I'd consider getting something like this:
250GB HDD (5400rpm)
E-350 APU (dual core @ 1.6 Ghz).
Either keep Windows Starter, or if you have a spare copy lying around, put XP on it.
Will fill the niche of a larger netbook, or a smaller laptop with very limited
gaming performance. However, it can play older games:
Leaving you $620 of your budget to buy yourself a nice big gaming desktop.
Motherboard: EVGA P55V 120-LF-E651-TR
($65 after rebate)
CPU: i3 540
($119) ($184 total)
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline (2 x 2GB)
($46) ($230 total)
PSU: OCZ ModXStream 500W
($35 after rebate) ($265 total)
GPU: EVGA GTX 460 1GB
($130 after rebate) ($395 total)
Case: NZXT GAMMA
($36) ($431 total)
HSF: XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283
($30) ($461 total)
Leaving you money to buy an OS and peripherals.
Ideally I'd like to upgrade the motherboard there, but when you're on a budget like this, it's difficult to get a really good motherboard, so I just went with a good manufacturer. Of course, it's just an example build, because...
Realistically, I suggest spending $7-800ish on a desktop now and getting a laptop when you need it. The main thing I'd do with the build I recommended is to get yourself a better motherboard. Something like:
ASUS P7P55D-E LX
($115 after rebate/reduction)
Alternately, when you're looking at getting that sort of build, it's a small upgrade to a $1000 system (or at least a $800 system), where you're focusing around an i5 2500k and a P67 motherboard, such as these:
MSI P67A-G43 (B3)
($120 after rebate)
Intel Core i5-2500K
If we were going to go with the i5 2500k build, it'd be an extra $161, which I believe would be money well spent.
Then I'd probably also suggest buying a slightly better air cooler (I hear that there are deals on Hyper 212+'s in other online stores, but not being from the US, I only really use Newegg).
All in all, with an i5 and a good GTX 460, you're looking at spending around $650 total. The motherboards I picked out would let you just slot in a second 460 down the road if you needed to, but you might want to look at getting a better PSU if you're into that too. 600W ought to be enough.
However then you'd have a pretty nice desktop for under $700, leaving you $300 to buy a netbook either now, or down the road.