Thanks for the replies guys. I wasn't even aware that I could change the video card on the laptop. I thought I was pretty much stuck with what I have.
Pony, I am currently doing Kurt's dog modeling tutorial. Things start out fine, but I get the lag after I put the reference plane up and begin adding the geometry. When you say, "too much loaded at a time", I am assuming there is something that can be done at this point to relieve the strain on the system? I deleted the history, but is there perhaps something else I could do?