Unfortunately, due to the slumping market, they are holding back new hardware - including the new netbook-type hardware - until the Summer. June is when it hits the market and things will heat up around the late summer/back-to-school period. Right now they have sales galore but the hardware that seems get the deepest discount right now are the AMD powered notebooks. They have a lot of 15-17 inch notebooks for under $500 that have decent specs. Take a look at Toshiba and HP as those have tons of retail models. You can also buy direct if you want something specific as there are lots of sales on right now due to the slump. I'm running on two hours of sleep and have a bad headache so I can't really offer you any suggestions beyond that.
New ultra-portables will be coming in several weeks with the new Intel CPUs. Improved battery life, improved WiFi and 4G LTE options, and greater expandability with USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. Couple one of those with an SSD and you've got a road warrior setup.