See this graph on the reliability of laptops per manufacturer: http://lifehacker.com/5524704/laptop reliability-study-highlights-the-most-sturdy-laptop-makers
I am particular to Sony VAIOs, but Toshiba has always been a close contender.
If I were to buy a new laptop right now for general use, I would seriously consider a Sony S series which starts at $874. It is 13.1 inches and weighs 4.4 lbs.
Yea, I actually posted the same thing from a different site a while back, and reposted it for a certain comment, but just because certain people post that a laptop failed on them, people seem to think that means the whole brand sucks, which isn't true at all.
Even though its horridly slow now, my dad's Sony Vaio with a Intel Centrino Duo, Windows XP, and an integrated graphics card is still putting out for us, and works perfect for internet browsing.
Money can't buy happiness. Just video games, which make me happy.