I had to get a new laptop last Autumn; I just looked up the specs: Intel i7-2670QM 2.20 GHz, 8GB RAM, GeForce GT 540M 2GB.
I'll let those more familiar with these things decide exactly what that means in the grand scheme of things.
That's pretty much the best processor and graphics card combo you can get in a laptop without going insane with the price, it should do you just fine for the next few years.
Meh... the gpu could have been better... the 555m would be a decent mid-range gpu, or even better, an 560M - but it also depends on your budget.
Aside from that, Holdfast... you can upgrade manually to 16GB RAM if you wanted to.
Just get the cheapest 2x8GB DDR3 so-dimm you can find and you'll be good.
Oh and, don't pay too much attention to Mhz speed on RAM... it means 0 in terms of real-life performance, gaming, etc.
As I said, stick to the cheapest RAM - and brand doesn't really matter either.
Aside from that... where are you situated and what's your budget?