Is there a specific reason why you want to go with a laptop instead of a desktop? It doesn't matter how much money you spend on it as it'll be obsolete in a couple of years and upgrading is very limited (can't upgrade the CPU or video card).
Anyway, to answer your question, I'd say pick between the Alienware Area-51 m17x, Dell XPS M1730 or the Sager NP9262.
If you want looks, then go with Alienware, here's the specifications for $4,424.00
Graphics Card: Dual 512MB NVIDIA® GeForce® Go 9800M GT – SLI Enabled
Display: 17" WideUXGA 1920 x 1200 LCD (1200p) with Clearview Technology – Black
Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9500 2.6GHz (6MB Cache 800MHz FSB)
RAM: 4GB† Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM at 667MHz – 2 x 2048MB
OS: Windows Vista® Ultimate with Service Pack 1 (You can save $100 by going with Home Premium)
Hard Drive: 320GB 7,200RPM (16MB Cache)
DVD-Drive: 8x Dual Layer Burner (DVD±RW, CD-RW)
Warranty: Comes with 1 year warranty from Alienware
This is out of your budget but I wanted it to have the same specs as the Dell which is below.
If you want performance (not much on look) and to save some money, go with the Dell XPS M1730. It is $3349.00
Graphics: NVIDIA® SLI™ Dual GeForce® 8800M GTX with 1GB GDDR3 Memory
Display: 17 inch UltraSharp TrueLife Wide-screen WUXGA
Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9500 (2.6GHz/800Mhz FSB/6MB cache)
RAM: 4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz
OS: Genuine Windows Vista® Ultimate Edition SP1 (save $150 and go with Home Premium)
Hard Drive: 320GB SATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) with Free Fall Sensor
DVD-Drive: 8X CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability
Warranty: 1 Yr Limited Warranty with 1 Yr NBD Onsite Service and 1 Yr Tech Support
Both the laptops has the same specifications but different prices (the graphics card performs the same but just different name). So you're only paying for the look on the Alienware so I suggest you go with the XPS M1730.
There's another laptop that performs better than the two, however I'm not familiar with the manufacturer or the place where you can buy it.
Sager NP9262 is practically a desktop (they use desktop components such as the processor) so you might experience quite a bit of overheating and also battery life won't be as long compared to the other two laptops above.
I found this in PowerNotebooks
Here's the specs I made:
This beats the two laptops above as it has Quad Core CPU (its a desktop CPU that they use) and the graphics card performs better than the two above. The price would be around $4000 if you want to upgrade to a 320GB hard drive and Vista Ultimate.