If you're planning on replacing your hard drive with the SSD, then use Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner to make a bootable clone of your current drive on to the new one. You will either need an external enclosure or a USB to SATA/IDE adapter to connect the new drive to your machine. Assuming you're planning on using the old drive externally, I would buy an enclosure for it (I like speed so I prefer FW800 enclosures). Once you've cloned the drive, then boot from the new drive before installing it to make sure everything is ok. If you can boot from it and it seems to work well, then install it in your laptop and put your old drive in the enclosure.
I guess an external enclosure will be my best bet. Thank you everyone!
Any before/after installation tips? Also, the company I bought it from has a very limited return policy, so I want to push the SSD to its limits within the first week. What tasks should I perform? Any signs I should look for indicating a bad drive?