So I've actually started working on this again...I guess buying a second monitor (Samsung 23" LED) kinda helps get the motivation going again ;) I've actually been blending on two screens and it's seriously awesome. I have to admit, though, I did have to prop up the 20" Acer up a bit so it would sit a bit more level with the 23" Samsung :P
Having a new computer certainly helps - I can now display all the layers without any problems, and the viewport remains nice and fast. The tower I'm using (that I've actually had for over a month now, forgot to mention it before) is a Gateway DX4860 with a 3.0Ghz quad-core Intel i5-2320, 6GB of RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium (going to have to upgrade to Pro eventually) and a nVidia GeForce GT520 - not the best graphics card on the market, but over 9000 times better than the Intel 965 Chipset in my laptop...
Oh, the GT520 also has 1GB of VRAM :D Only problem is, a CUDA-based Cycles benchmark render (Mike Pan's BMW M1) takes 5 to 10 times longer than with just the CPU... going to have to upgrade that as well, maybe get a GeForce GTX570 to run alongside the GT520, or something along those lines.
Anyway, this computer is fast. I mean, my trusty dual-core Toshiba Satellite laptop was amazingly fast back when I first got it, but this PC blows it out of the water... I still feel attached to the Toshiba though, so I'm lucky it's still in great condition - might use it for network rendering or something.
Anyway, that's it from me for now. See ya!