That laptop is a beast !
For those who worry about it, the keyboard is US-type (NOT Quebec, so no accents), and as for the OS, you can choose one language (French, English, Spanish, Italian and maybe others but not sure) at windows first startup, but windows tells you that you won't be able to change afterwards.
As for the heat, well... none so far. We tested the blueray reader for 3 hours (lord of the rings extended edition !!!) and after the movie, the computer was still cold. We also tested a bit of online gaming (Aion, with graphics settings on "high") for a few hours, and still no heat. There was a tad of warmth localized towards the processor after more than 5 hours, but not hot at all. We ran a simultaneous installation of mathlab and a virtual ubuntu oneiric, and the computer remained cold and functional the whole time.
Noise : none. The fans make a very very soft whoosh that can't even manage to cover my upper neighbour's snoring (and I'm getting the snoring trough the ceiling...), or my fridge (which is in another room) for that matter. The disk reader does not make sound either.
Sound : there has been complains that the sound is not loud enough. I agree the maximum output from the speakers is not loud. But it is ok. I am hearing impared, I watched the whole movie with the internal speakers only (at maximum volume) and that was ok. Sure enough, you'll never wake up your whole street with these speakers, but the sound is sufficient. And the sound quality is excellent. If you really want to make the walls shake, you just have to buy a good sound system, and the sound card of the asus will deliver that in high quality for you.
Touchpad : for some weird reason the default setting is too slow, but that is fixed in a second in the options.
Screen : amazing image quality output from both blueray movie and game (still Aion, highest quality)
Keyboard : the backlight is great. You can really type in the total dark, although your ophtalmologist would probably not agree...
NO Mouse : not included with this laptop (Asus g74sx-xc1). All the best, since then you can choose your own mouse with your own specifications.
NO Backpack : here is the real problem. The backpack is not included, and, to be honest, it is almost impossible to find a backpack that actually fits the thing. The hugeness of the laptop makes the backpack choice extremely thin. Plus the backpack cost A LOT (for a backpack). Count at least 100$ for a minimum backpack that I'm not even sure will fit.
BAD Shipping : other problem : Amazon Canada ships that with UPS, and does not require signature. This means the UPS people can just leave it on your doorstep or with a neighbour if you are not there... While this doesn't bother me for a book, it does, however, bothers me with a laptop that does not come cheap.
Bulk : it's huge and heavy. Not something you are going to carry around everywhere you go. Basically it is a desktop that you can move easily if you have to (going to another city/country for a while, etc). You can still carry it with you from work to home if you have the motivation, but I would not recommend long walks or hiking (a dog would be better suited for these activities anyway).
Overall, the laptop is great. It is the cheapest of its category, and if you have a limited budget, it represents a good investment you will not regret even if you do not plan on gaming at all. It is slightly more expensive than a "regular" laptop, but it will last longer due to the great cooling system, which makes it a good purchase for students also.