Originally Posted by melshaw
Sony Sucks. Your only paying a premium price for the name. Go with the Dell. The support alone is well worth it.
While I wouldn't quite put it that way (and I think Dell tends to be only average), I'd definitely agree that Sony notebooks tend to be very expensive and not build very well (or at least well enough to stand up to the abuse I dish out to my equipment). I received one in 2001 that managed to have the battery die completely within months, the screen broke when I lifted the notebook by the sides of the lid (gently, I thought), and it died completely after I partially disassembled and then reassembled it. When it was working, it had a DVD player but not good enough video capabilities to actually play DVDs (which annoyed me to no end), got very very hot when running, and had several other problems that for now I'll attribute to the fact that it came with Windows ME.
The bottom line for me is that Sony puts a lot of effort into making sure their notebooks look good (and they do, for the most part), but considerably less effort into making sure their notebook function well. For the price you're paying, Sony has some of the worst built (although best looking) notebooks with on average the weakest video cards on the market.
As for what to get instead, I'd recommend the Asus U, V, or W series, or the Lenovo Thinkpad T series for very good build quality. The Asus models I mentioned, along with the Apple Macbook & Macbook Pro, also meet or exceed the design standard of Sony's notebooks in my opinion.