well, it really depends on the model and your needs. Almost any manufacturer can make a great laptop, or a horrible one.
My advice is to shop around and see what exactly you are looking for. I like to look at pcworld.com as they have charts for some of the best models in different price ranges/purposes. Also I would look at online etailers like newegg and read some reviews.
Sometimes the best option is to pick a laptop size/function and go "build" one at hp, compaq, gateway, or dell. This may not be the cheapest option however.
MSI is known for having some nice chassis for DIY system builders. Other than that, I've heard the wind models are pretty nice for netbooks.
Is this for work? Entertainemnt? What is most important, mobility, battery life, etc?
yup, any manufacturer can make a great laptop or a horrible one.
Just like in the past how acer tends to make lousy laptops, we can see that they are improving right now. In my opinion, Msi makes decent laptop. You can go for Msi, Asus, Sager, Hp, Dell laptops if you want cheers
I just purchases an MSI A6000 notebook. I am impressed with the build quality of what is a budget notebook. I even took it apart and installed the Bluetooth module and could see how well designed the system is, the cooling in particular.
Also as a bonus MSI installs a minimum amount of bloatware on the system.
For $399.00 at Fry's I couldn't resist.