Building laptops from scratch or extreme customization of laptops

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Here's a thought. I've been searching high and low for an affordable laptop which has
  • Awesome Graphics card (not sure what - but something that could handle Crysis at high)
  • 15-16" screen with 1920 x 1080 res
  • 4gb or more ddr3 1333mhz ram
  • core i7-720qm or higher processor
  • backlit keyboard
  • HDMI, long battery life, etc etc

So basically everything but at under $2500. I even bought a dell studio xps 1645 with the above specs and the price was real good ($1730 with student discount) but it had lots of problems so i had to return it.

Now that the problem is solved (? maybe?).. dell dont offer that laptop in that configuration, making the laptop around $2400 just due to an increase in RAM (6gb instead of 4gb).

And since I am unsure of the quality with dell or any other brand for that matter, I was wondering if there is any laptop out there that gives alienware m15x performance for a smaller pricetag? (a discount coupon for the above would do! hehe)

If not, what about "overhauling" or "Pimp My Laptop" sorta stuff if you catch my drift... You know customizing the laptop or even building it up from scratch.

I've done some basic upgrades in the past (RAM HDD, bluetooth card etc.) but does anyone have any experience in upgrading graphics cards, screens and CPU's?

Any experience or information about this is very welcome, as finding the right laptop in the right price is sorta like the Holy Grail of laptops, especially in NZ since US has many such companies that offer great custom laptops at a fraction of the price of big brands.
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