I've had good luck with my Toshiba Satellite. I use it mostly for video streaming, minor photo editing, and some very light gaming, and it's held up really well in spite of my crazy attempts at multitasking.
If you're going to be doing some gaming, a decent graphics card is important. That's about as much as I know about computer hardware, but when I was looking to buy a new desktop for gaming, I found that Game-Debate was a good resource for determining which one was worth my money. Basically, it allows you to pick a game that you want to play, old or new, and from there you type in your computer information (RAM, graphics card details, etc.). The site will then tell you if your computer meets or exceeds the minimum requirements for gameplay. I'm not very good with computer hardware, so it came in handy when I was trying to figure out which games I could play.