GrannyGeek: I'm not surprised that you want to keep your desktop machines; I'm also not surprised that caitlyn no longer feels the need to have one.
The way I see it, different people have different wants and needs. I still have a land line even though I use my cell for almost everything. Some people I know (mostly younger people, but not only) no longer see the need for a land line and so only have cell phones. Most of the gamers I know (not many, since I'm not really into those kinds of games) like to have a desktop machine (or an Xbox, Playstation, etc.) rather than a laptop for gaming.
I'll take into consideration your advice about which laptop to buy. In the end I'll avoid brands that are known to have low quality control, and pick something thought by reviewers and Consumer Reports to be solid and stable. A Lenovo would be nice. I really haven't figured out how much money I can spare for this. I'm not too worried about speed since VL will run very fast on any machine that's fairly recent.