Dell laptops seem pretty good, so far. Bought one for my wife recently and it seems fairly rugged, good components.
I have had a Toshiba for a bit over 3 years, but had some issues. Still, generally good laptops.
They might have changed, but I have never heard anything good about HP laptops... desktop, good... laptop, not so much. Again, this could be old news, and not valid for today.
IBM is a bit more expensive, but generally more well received, although I have talked to a few people that weren't big fans.
I would stay away from anything with the name "Gateway" on it...
Asus and Acer seem to make very good products, especially the latter. Big Acer fan, and not just because I had one of their original desktop machine around '94.
MSI makes laptops, and have read decent things about them, but not too familiar.