You can buy a lot of laptops for under $1,000. In fact Best Buy had a deal at one time for a netbook, laptop, and desktop for $1,200 which is what we got.
My first laptop was an Acer and it cost under $500. It kept running so well, that I wound up giving it to an older friend who needed a computer to find work when we got the new computers.
The one I have now is a HP and on its own, it was like $600.
I'd say to look at HP, Gateway, Dell, Acer, ect online to check out prices and than go shopping from there.