Nice of you remembering that I'm about to get a laptop... I will most certainly go for the new Sony 316x with 16-inch screen and PIV processor.... I've heard very good things about it at the German Keyboards forum; the soundcard will be RME Cardbus Multiface. But this computer is hard to get right now, so I don't have it yet...
As for your questions,
Live does not have a sample editor, you have to specify an external one (Wavelab etc) in the preferences, and that's the one that will open when you click EDIT in the Clip view....
The "only" things you can do in Live are tuning, changing the volume, the loop.... and this is all non-destructive; you can use the same sample over and over and have different settings for each of them.
Hope that has answered your question