There are many good brands of laptop eg: Dell, HP, Compaq, Lenovo, Sony etc etc. I will suggest you to go for Compaq as it will be lighter on the pocket and will be efficient enough to handle all your requirement.
Now coming to configuration, I agree with Avi's suggested configuration to some extent. But if money is not a constraint for buying the laptop, I will suggest you to buy a higher configuration laptop. The computer world is ever changing and innovating. Obviously, once you buy a laptop you won't buy a new one at least for another 3 to 4 years. But with the ever innovating and improving components you might feel left out and out dated very soon, if you go for just what you want today. So, have an eye on the future and get a laptop with a higher configuration.
My suggested configuration is as follows:
1.Hard Disk: 320GB
(You can always buy an external hard disk at a later stage if you feel the need)
2. Min. RAM (Memory): 3GB
(But make sure that the laptop memory is upgradeable to at least 4 GB so that you can upgrade it later whenever you need)
3. Screen Size: As you prefer
(I prefer smaller screen for my development purpose and larger screen for viewing movies. 17'' will be ideal)
4. Processor: Intel Dual Core with more than 2GHz speed(minimum)
5. OS: Either Windows XP or Windows 7
6. Good Battery back up (somewhere around 4 hrs)
Most importantly, do not forget that what you think today is just enough for you will soon become out dated and of less use. Always think of the future before investing in major electronics like laptops as laptops are not as easy to upgrade as desktops.
My suggestion is to take the Dell Laptop!!
Hope this helps you in deciding a laptop. Happy shopping.