Laptops are so close now, as all come out of the same district in China.
I have an inexpensive Inspiron for traveling. Windows 7 and an i3. If I drop it or it gets stolen, it wouldn't be good... but, I'd simply buy another. A $1,500 ibuypower would be great, but then you really have to worry about theft.
Out of all of them which one tends to last the longest? I've had multiple people recommend a Dell, but I don't know much about the brand. I don't wish to game on it, but I will obviously use it a lot for school. Also I need it to last for a good amount of time considering I'm going to be broke from paying for college and I won't be able to afford another laptop.