I've had a couple of A series, but I got mine because of the big WUXGA screen. Quality and reliabity have been fine. However, I think there are better choices than the A250 if you are happy with a WXGA screen. HP, Toshiba, Acer and others all make lappies that are more powerful and cheaper.
The A230 is kind of different. The SXGA Xbrite is one of very few high resolution glossy screens. If you want it for that reason, then you can forgive the price and ordinary video card. If you don't care about the Xbrite screen and high resolution, once again there are more powerful and cheaper choices.
In other words, IMHO the only real reason to buy a Sony A series is because they have the best screens available for a 15" and a 17". If that's not your main thing, you'll get better value elsewhere.