Yea I'm with EE on this.
Does your Laptop have an expansion slot? If so you can get firewire to it.
As to DAWs, try some. There's a Demo of Presonus Studio One on their website, Reaper has a great trial and is really cheap...
My band - Ex Curia - Prog in an Opeth meets Karnivool meets Porcupine Tree meets Tool kind of way