And I completely agree with taking the laptop and other valuables on board. When we travel, we pretty much just pack our clothes in the checked baggage. That way if it doesn't make it to our final destination, we are not totally screwed.
Its like the businessman who takes his 3 suitcases to the ticket counter at the airport and tells the agent, "I want this suitcase to go to Atlanta, this one to Miami and this one to Boston."
"Oh we can't do that, sir" responded the ticket agent, "Your ticket is to Chicago."
"Why not?" asked the businessman, "You did it last week!"