I have decided to go with the tower configuration, despite the lure of portability the mobile option offered. With a tower I can add stuff on if needed and also have double the RAM (24 GB vs 16). Plus if they acquiesce to my request, I’ll have a sweet NVIDIA Quadro 4000 card with all those lovely CUDA cores. I responded back to the Product Manager by the requested deadline and now await the final answer on the configuration. I wonder if they will be closed on Monday for President’s day?
…And the winner is: Dell Precision T5500 Tower!