Thanks, but honestly a netbook is probably too low end for the stuff I plan to run for work reasons - Visual Studio, Various Emulators, SQL Server, Web Server etc. I'm ok with not the snappiest, but some of those apps are a little piggy.
This is where I get a little lost -- wouldn't that need some sort of DC - DC Power regulator to keep from under / over volting the PC? Or, is the generic laptop power brick going to handle that for me assuming that's how I hook it up?
As long as you where above 12.0 V dc input, and only want 12.0 v dc output, as most CPU want then your fine with a buck converter as a DC-DC power-supply, the buck converter will provide the regulation of the DC, till you reach drop off then it will shut down, so over voltage is controlled by the buck converter naturally, it is what it does takes a higher voltage and drops it to a equal or lower voltage, this is bucking hence it's name. If under-voltage is provided to a buck it will shutdown providing your under-voltage protection.
Another type of DC-DC power converter you may look into is either buck-boost and LDO, or low voltage drop off, though I would only recommend the latter if you plan to run the input very close to the output voltage range, i.e 12 volts in for 12 volts out because the efficiency of a LDO is directly related to the difference of the output to the input, In plain English the greater the difference between your regulated output and the input the less efficient they are. Buck, Buck-Boost are not linear devices so their efficiency is part of their inherent design. In plain English the efficiency of the conversion does not change as much based on the input and are efficient across a wider range of voltages.
AS far as the laptops a good quality laptops power brick will have the under and over voltage protection built in, the caveat, good quality the 5.00 dollar special from china not so much.
As previously mentioned you might be best served going with either a high powered or gaming laptop, several brands have been mentioned but shop around there are plenty out there.