maybe u guys haven't ever seen a cl56 in person, apparently, it is a very nice machine. it is comparable imo:
the compal build quality is excellent, i would easily compare it to many of the ibm thinkpad designs. both are similar in their implemenation. ibm T series is a head above still, but i like my cl56 in comparison to an A/R/G. plus my cl56 has a 2-year warranty and i can choose to extend it to 4 years at any time, it's not ibm's awesome warranty people but hell if they fix it when it breaks, its the same to me =)
externally (chassis-wise) both have boxy-style designs, meaning symmetric corners and flat lines. if you're putting your computer into a case that rests under pressure (for example, a laptop backpack where books rest on top of the screen), weight will be more evenly distributed across the screen / chassis and you will have less potential for imparting a large amount of stress on a small area.
the keyboard is very solid on the cl56, i like it as much or better than, for example, the ibm a-series kb i used for a long time. response and rattle is very good. key travel is not very long, but touch-typists will like that and it gives the impression that the keys will wear well after a few years.
internally, the cl56 has an aluminum cage protecting the innards from stress, plus acting as a general heatsink. physically speaking, this results in NO give / creaking when you press down very hard on the palmrests of the cl56. it feels like a rock. much like the ibm thinkpad; both builds give you a very solid impression from hands-on experience.
ibms also run very quiet / cool, something that has been their trademark for years. surprisingly (for such a powerful machine) the cl56 also runs exceptionally quiet and cool, it's really one of the quietest notebooks i've ever owned.
reliability over a long period of time hasn't been tested on a cl56 yet, unfortunately, while many of the ibm designs have proven their mettle in the long run. sure ibm is a great system, but the compal is real nice too. me personally, however, i would rather put the extra $1000 in the bank for what i'm getting.