adv/disadv of laptops discussed less than three weeks ago. Moreover, every other question has been addressed countless times. Not to be a dusche monkey, but
If this was what was stopping you, the form factor is "mini ITX". There is also a "micro atx" that has more than one manufacturer.
that said, I formerly used a desktop DVD drive with no issue. I Have USB devices up the wazoo and haven't had problems.