Assume that you will get lousy customer service from whoever you buy from.
Sometimes you will be right, sometimes not. However, if the machines have a reliable reputation, you are less likely to need the customer support. Similarly, if they have an active forum on here, you will not need to rely on the 'official' support services.
Even companies that have good Customer Service now may not have such good service in the future for whatever reason... so don't rely on it if you can avoid it.
Try not to get a machine that has just been released... you want someone else to pay for the priviledge of beta testing their design and fabrication.
You say that you want a gaming machine... That leads to certain questions;
1. Where will you be playing them ? Are you getting a laptop simply for convenience carrying it to Lan Parties or do you want to be able to play games without having to plug the laptop in ? If it is the later, get a big battery and a power-efficient laptop even if it is not the fastest machine. If it is the former, get something fast with a cooling pad.
2. What's your budget ? Not just how much money do you (or your parents) have, but what is your technical level, what do your friends have, how much time and inclination do you have for tinkering with it or upgrading it. It is fine, if this is just a tool for you to play games on... but that would mean that you should go for an established company while, if you are more of a tinkerer, you can afford to go with a company that could close down next week.
3. What do you intend to use it for ? Is it just gaming or are you going to be using it for school or work or watching DVDs etc. These details influence the weight and size and screen width etc of the laptop.