Kinda hard to say Toshiba is better than Dell as neither actually makes laptops and both use the same suppliers.
Most brands you have heard of are made by Original Design manufacturers (ODM's) Major relationships include:
* Quanta sells to (among others) HP/Compaq, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, Fujitsu, Acer, NEC, Gateway and Lenovo/IBM - note that Quanta is currently (as of August, 2007) the largest manufacturer of notebook computers in the world.
* Compal sells to Toshiba, HP/Compaq, Acer, and Dell.
* Wistron (former manufacturing & design division of Acer) sells to HP/Compaq, Dell, IBM, NEC, Acer, and Lenovo/IBM.
* Flextronics (former Arima Computer Corporation notebook division) sells to HP/Compaq, NEC, and Dell.
* ECS sells to IBM, Fujitsu, and Dell.
* Asus sells to Apple (iBook), Sony, and Samsung.
* Inventec sells to HP/Compaq, Toshiba, and BenQ.
* Uniwill sells to Lenovo/IBM and Fujitsu.
* Clevo sells to numerous boutique vendors such as Sager, FalconNorthwest, WidowPC, etc
But to answer the question, we'd need to know "best for what" ?
Increased battery life for example goes hand in hand w/ decreased performance. Which is more important to you ?
I find that I can get better hardware at reduced prices and custom built to boot by cutting out the middleman. MSI and Asus make their own laptops. Clevo distributors are all over the world; you can find one here: