Help with HP 9000 laptop sound

I love my laptop however, the sound card is the weak link. I was surprised that a 17" screen laptop would be so lame for dvd's. This is with nice headphones too.

When I'm traveling, it's nice to use headphones either for music while I work or for a dvd. The output levels are really weak and don't sound so good. If I use the built in speakers, it is even more lame. It's not my hearing. My Sansa Clip sounds 10 times better!

Any suggestions? New sound card? New drivers?
I wonder if one or a mix of these USB components can be used to improve your sound.
I think this is the one that would suit you better since it will run on usb or battery power instead of having to plug it into an electrical outlet.
Thanks guys but I am really looking for an internal solution. I've got great gear at home to listen to. All I want is reasonable sound for when I'm on the road or flying. Right now the sound is barely audible on a plane. The last thing I want to do is carry around an external box just so I can listen to tunes or watch a movie.

Any internal fixes? Any software help?