Personally I've always wondered about using a Parallel Port Adapter in an Express Card slot on a laptop. As some of the adapters connect directly to the PCI Express bus I believe that latency wouldn't be an issue. Having said that I haven't looked at the Mach 3 software site, and therefore did not realize that power saving features could pose a problem. I am curious if disabling the power management features from within the OS would solve that problem. Just because Mach3 does not officially support it doesn't mean that it's impossible. When I get my machine up and running I'll have to give it a shot.
Interestingly enough I used to own an IT firm and we built (or rather integrated bare-bone laptop enclosures) very powerful laptops for medical imaging applications. I still have a couple of them sitting around. The thing that made these laptops so interesting is that they used a desktop processor, and a motherboard with a desktop chipset and architecture. They were huge 12 lb monsters. I wonder if power saving features would be an issue here as they weren't using chips designed to be run off a battery. Hell they only lasted 20 minutes on a huge battery. I guess I'll have to give that a shot too.