Don't tell the hordes swarming into the Apple Store every weekend, but the days of needing to spend over $1,000 to get a quality laptop passed by while most of them were still in high school. Even before netbooks came along sending manufacturers into a frenzy while chewing their own margins down to pennies just to compete, prices on Windows laptops were in a freefall, leaving today's prices at rock bottom. With Windows 7 now standard, you won't have to deal with Microsoft's last dud of an operating system this year either. Just about any notebook under $500 will serve your most basic needs, but some inevitably do it a whole lot better than others. Here are some of our favorites. If you have a favorite you would like to share, or want us to know about, please post it below!