I did not realize the onboard video on the 1705 is prone to issues. Honestly I don't like "shared" video memory anyway. But, many systems nowadays come like that stock...
I am really surprised to hear that. I hope they took care of you from the standpoint of repairs/returns under warranty.
One thing I can say for Dell's service, when my MoBo on the E9400/1705 system crapped out they sent a repair tech to my parent's house (I was traveling!) the next day and fixed it free of charge.
I've never owned an Alienware...
I built up a customized digital audio workstation laptop a little while ago and the whole thing maxxed out was around $3,000.
Check this site for some sick options:
ADK Pro Audio Digital Audio workstations