Acronis TrueImage is the other popular commercial disk cloning utility. It's a bit cheaper than Norton and (in my opinion) much better.
Is the 60gb the amount of data on the hard drive or just the overall size of the drive?
Both TrueImage and Ghost copy just the data and the speed depends on..
1) how powerful the laptop is.
2) what you're backing up to (i.e blank dvd, external hard drive etc).
3) how much compression the backup is using.
On an average modern system, TrueImage takes roughly 15mins to back up 10gb to another drive.
As for manually copying to a dvd, I guess it depends on what you want the backup for. TrueImage/Ghost copies everything including all the operating system files. You won't be able to be so thorough with a manual backup.