So this is what I'm thinking: 17inch, 9 pound (with charger) Asus N71 with a 2 year warranty and 1 year accident protection ($899)+ refurbished, 14 inch Thinkpad T42
to bring to class ($290)
You could build a much more powerful PC (and easier to upgrade in the long term) than the 17 inch for much less than $899.
I built this PC in October: AMD Phenom II Quad core 2.6 ghz, 4 gig ram, ATI Radeon 1 gig video card (dx 11 ready + crossfire), 1 terabyte harddrive, very solid PSU + case...all for about $550. (if you don't need to game, then you could cut out the discreet graphics card and lower that price by $150) All individual parts are under warranty, so if the thing fails (still no issues and I haven't turned it off once since building it), I could just send in the bad part and keep the rest of the PC.
It's currently hooked up to my TV for all my media and gaming. Hulu, netflix, etc all on it. I don't even need to hook up the keyboard or mouse to it. You can use an app called Synergy to use the keyboard and mouse on another laptop to control it over the network, though I just usually use a universal remote.
Obviously, the specs on this are overkill for law school, but what I'm trying to say is if you're going the one large PC at home and one smaller more portable one for classes, your money could probably be spent a lot more efficiently and for something that would last you in the long term more than a 17 inch laptop + a 14 inch refurbished. With what you mentioned above, your budget is about $1200 or so, you could build a decent PC, and then buy a 12" or 13" ASUS ultra portable with like a 10 - 12 hour battery for about the same price as what you are thinking (probably for even less than $1200...).
(I got the HD TV for only $250 too
This guy's setup is pretty much what I'm going for. It's my summer project before I start 1L. PC hooked up in another room for office use, cables through the wall to the TV for entertainment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR9-vahLi1s