I recently bought an Acer Aspire 5742g laptop, and then found out about Optimus and its complete lack of linux support after it shipped :\ Naturally I'm strongly considering selling the laptop and buying one with a working discrete graphics card. The things I'm wondering about:

1) when *is* Optimus support likely to show up on linux? The technology's like a year old, and I've heard stuff about getting it working being a google summer of code project, so if I'll be able to use the nvidia card on it by, say, september I might not bother.

2) what other options do I have for getting a laptop with discrete graphics? Apparently ATI has a similar technology, but in at least some cases you have the option of switching the GPU manually (with an X restart). I'm hearing conflicting things about whether or not their hybrid graphics are going to be any better-supported.

3) As much as I'd hate to buy nvidia after this, I'll buy whatever I need to get working discrete graphics. I'm also hearing conflicting things about how good ATI's linux drivers are now, I know that historically they were rubbish but apparently that's changed now? I've been told that the Acer Timeline series is a good line to look into.

4) Part of the problem with the 5742g in particular is that the bios doesn't offer an option to turn the nvidia GPU off. If I could do that, even if I had to buy a laptop with optimus I could at least get better battery life, and maybe be prepared for whenever linux optimus support does eventually come. So I need to know what laptops do offer the option to turn that off manually.

Basically, I'm looking for advice on what to buy, since the 5742g has kind of failed me.