I own both a thinkpad t41p and a small sony t150. It took 3 notebooks from IBM to get one that worked correctly.
Bad cd drive, strange locking up issue, and now a machine works correctly, but only after I had to solve the locking up issue, yes the third notebook shipped had the same problem as number 2, which was a bad driver that caused the rundll32 program to max out at 100% cpu usage and lock up the machine, every time you clicked on an icon, the system would freeze,,, very irritating. I posted this ordeal at the thinkpads.com forum and when I posted my solution, i received a wave of thanks from like affected individuals. Now fully functional, the t41p, makes this constant hi pitched noise that many said was due to the power management of the usb ports, if you work in your office with the notebook on its very annoying. Nothing has fixed this. Screen quality was average, keyboard was great, but a $3000 notebook whose battery wiggles when installed... (the work around use a piece of double stick tape to wedge in there and fix it). Battery life was poor, typically I got two hours. I took a six hour flight the other day and needed to haul two of the Ibm monster batteries with me to get my work done on the plane. IBM customer support was average sometimes a good one sometimes a bad one. So based on my experience IBM notebooks are not the easiest to start with, costing me valuable time just getting the product running stably. My sony came out of the demo bin at office depot, it was marked down almost $600 but I really wanted an ultralight so I bit. The machine was in very nice physical shape, and I was told I could return it within 14 days if it was bad. Everything works, and I have taken it to two big work events. Three pounds, and almost four hours of battery life wide open. No weird battery wiggling issues, a nice xbrite screen, small keyboard, but I am adjusting. I believe my experiences wih the IBM notebooks are typical, many have issues with the fit and finish of the newer t42 models, as well as Ibm using proprietery hardware that will not allow you to run newer wifi cards in pcmci slots. Just my experiences, wih two notebook manufacturers discussed here.