my laptop hunt woes

I have been hunting/narrowing down on a laptop i want or need and have come to the conclusion that, unless i build/assemble one myself, i am doomed to buy one of those pre-packaged,over-priced junk.
Sites-wise, Dell’s site is the only one that provides a decent UI of filtering based on features. Lenovo’s is the worst.. It forces you to choose some series based on whatever junk their marketing department decided was their goal. I mean there perhaps is some correlation and it is a good navigation for someone who doesn’t want to spend comparing hardware specs.

But for a Techie like me, that’s outright condescending.
On the packaging, part clearly there is an established habit among consumers to correlate price and HDD size and all the laptop vendors are utilizing it as much as they can.
Don’t get me started on Acer, they have 3 categories Notebooks, Ultrabooks, Netbooks.. WTF is the difference between these nonsense categories??

Toshiba UI compares nicely to the Dell one in terms ability to search by price, but still has the packaging problem. Guess that’s the standard in laptop market and it’ll take sometime for the business model to be disrupted, by a clever, laptop assembling company.

Here’s what i want:
1. Storage: A SSD for hard disk(anything > 32G will do). The point of SSD is just to hold the OS and packages i end up installing and can get to use on the fly. Guess a 64G is a good limit for it. For any data am just going to be using my external SATA Disk.
2. Processor; most of my operations i plan to do are computation intensive. I plan to run some NLP algorithms, Machine Learning algorithms etc… Perhaps i can expand my master’s thesis. So a good processing power is a must. preferably core i7(but due to the packaging and price limit, i might end up going for core i5)
3. RAM: Again given my usage, and that am not a fan of heavy loading complex physics games, a minimum of 4GB DDR3 sounds reasonable.
4. Graphics Card: Again, not being a frothing at the mouth fan of video games, am willing to forgo heavy acceleration graphics card, and settle for normal,decent graphics performance. Intel HD graphics 3000 seems to fit the bill.
5.OS: My biggest grouch/pain-point. I don’t care for Windows 7’s new shiny UI. I have been on linux for a couple of years now, and find it painful to work even on Windows XP. Given that, i would rather, get one without any OS, but it seems like i won’t. I just can’t find a laptop without Windows installed.

From what i understand about the hardware prices, it should be possible to put together a laptop with these component within the 50K-60K INR price range.
But no apparently according to the Dell business/pricing team, if i go for a 6GB RAM i will also want a 1TB hard disk. Darn..

And if i go with a i7 i’ll have to go with a minimum of 500GB HD or 256GB SSD..Gaargh…Either am totally missing something about the hard ware price ranges.. or dell is designing it’s laptop packages to maintain their profit margin. And given my decent Quant. Aptitude skills i suspect it’s the latter.

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