I believe it is a fact. I have an old Thinkpad 1400 i series. Pentium 266 MHz with MMX, 64 MB RAM, 4 GB.
I got it in 1999 when I was in college. I had a backpack that could carry laptops and books, and I would always mistreat the poor thing. When I would get in my car, I would toss the bag into the backseat, a lot of times the bag would land with the books on top of the laptop. Nonetheless, it kept going strong. In 2001, I wanted a new laptop. I wanted to get another ThinkPad, but when I configured it how I wanted it, it was about $3,500. I got a Dell Inspiron 8100 instead for about $2,300. It had a better video and sound card, for much less.
Still, the difference in build quality was noticeable. One time the Inspiron was sitting in the same backpack on a chair, and it fell over and hit the carpet on its side. The latch that releases the removable drive broke off. I was impressed with Dell's customer service, however. They sent me a box, I shipped it the next day, and two days later it was delivered and fixed!
I now have a Hypersonic GX8 and a Dell Inspiron 600m. The old Thinkpad still lives, however. It's a little beat up, the floppy drive doesn't work, and the battery is long dead. I set it up in the kitchen with a wireless networking card for my mom since she spends most of her time there. It is always on, and it stills chugs along just fine.
I've gotten offers to sell it, but I always resist because I think the little guy is worth more to me than the amount for which it would sell. I'll probably own it until it finally dies. So far it's been going for almost 6 years now.
Whenever someone wants me to find them a used laptop in Ebay, I always recommend a ThinkPad. You never know what a used laptop has been through, but I know a ThinkPad can take a lot of punishment.
Dang, I feel so nostalgic now.