I had the quintessential Macbook on the table as well with student discount but even with the incomming refresh of the Pro range I doubt it will beat the Sony's pure stats for hardware etc. although it will probably rape it on battery life.
I've had a series of Vaios, including a couple in the VGN-SZ series. Also a smaller PCG series from several years ago. The machines themselves are reasonably fast and the graphics quality with Nvidia GeForce renders well. So-so battery life (and expensive replacements). Screens are easily readable. You do, however, pay a premium for design, bells and whistles. Concerning repairs, I've had a few problems--some requiring service (satisfactory) and some repairs I did myself: fan going out on one, hard disk failure on another, bit of cheesy plastic on the case that chipped off, some problems with the touchpad after a year and a half on yet another. Overall, snazzy laptops at a bit higher price. The model you're thinking about looks like quite a dream machine, but factor memory upgrade into the package as well as an upgrade of the OS. All depends on the price you snag. Cheers from Tokyo!