I used to use a laptop for work, because I traveled a lot and it was a lot easier to carry a laptop than 20 kg of paper around with me. My whole professional life was on that machine, carefully and regularly backed up of course, to CDs and the office server. I no longer have a laptop because I'm retired now. I've always had a desktop at home, and I'd like to have a laptop as well, for the few times these days when I'm not at home, but I've never been able to justify the expense. For the couple of weeks a year when I'm up at the lake (where there's no Internet access anyway), or away from home for other reasons, I've so far been able to live without it. But it'd be so nice to have... my astronomy programs, my drafting programs, encyclopedias and assorted other reference materials, correspondence files, documents I'm working on, those wonderful Adobe programs like Photoshop CS and Photoshop Elements, a place to download and back up the photographs I take... I keep waiting for the price of a good one to drop below $500. I haven't yet seen one worth buying for under $700, but one of these days the price will get to where I want it to be.
It's pretty clear that you get more bang for the buck with a desktop. I could replace my desktop system for about $1000, a laptop with equivalent performance and storage would be well over $2500. There are also some things I simply can't do with a laptop, so it can never be my main system. I need 8 USB 2 ports for instance, for all my peripheral devices, and no laptop, even a high end one with the most expensive docking station in the world, can provide that, I'd still have to be adding external USB hubs. My experience also suggests that laptops aren't as durable as desktops, though I have to admit that's an anecdotal, not a scientific, opinion, and may be worth nothing. I was, however, deeply involved with computer support issues in my last decade at work, and several thousand desktop and laptop computers passed through my life in that time. No laptop I ever saw over the last 10 years of my working life--and that includes systems from Compaq, Dell, Sony, IBM, and Toshiba-- lasted more than 2 years in daily use as a workstation before needing major repairs, but I've seen desktop systems in daily heavy use for three times that long without a failure.
The only justification for getting a laptop I can see is if you have an over-riding need for portability of the information you need daily to do what you have to do. If that's not true of your life--and remember you can do a lot these days with Blackberry and Palm Pilot type things, which you can also justify needing for other reasons-- I think a laptop is a waste of money.
But I still want one.