I just got a 15.6" series 7, ivybridge i7, and geforce 640M GDDR5, for $780 from Amazon Warehouse last week. I upgraded HDD to SSD, and moved 7200RPM drive to optical bay and increased from 8GB to 12GB RAM.
I have to say, besides the screen...which isn't as bad as people say (once you calibrate it). This laptop is damn nice. It's got a metal frame except for the bottom as well as an 8cell battery. I think runtime for websurfing is over 6hours.
I don't consider these average or standard specs at all for a 0.9" thick laptop.
Yeah when you factor in ultra light its a whole different ballgame. I got a Asus G73 with top of the line specs for under $700 cause I got lucky with a auction. In those computers your paying for the performance and not the form factor.