There are a lot of laptops to choose from, but their repair history as a group is fairly bad.
The best of all manufacturers has been IBM/Lenovo. I have also had Compaq, Sony, Dell, and Toshiba. The Toshiba was a good laptop as well.
I have all the IBM's/Lenovo still being used by myself or someone in the family. We have had 7 laptops since the first T-40, with the only repairs being a replacement of a hard drive in the oldest one (probably the hardest used as well). These are marketed as business computers and so may not have a large number and variety of ports, or super graphics for games, and they don't usually have the super cheap price levels, though if you hit sales just right, they can be purchased very fairly. Most have a magnesium frame, and high quality parts. They graphics are very high resolution, speakers usually good, and you haven't used a great laptop keyboard if you haven't used an IBM (except the G series).
The newest, a W700, is about 6 months old, and is still superb quality.
My daughter has a year old Dell Inspiron that she spilled a wine cooler on. I took it apart to clean it, and was not at all impressed with the components inside, the connectors or the frame. Still. she has been very happy with it.
I wouldn't bother with anything else than IBM/Lenovo in a laptop.