I had a Fujitsu lifebook that was an absolute tank... As someone who has taken apart 10-20 laptops over the years, that one was in a league of its own.
I need processing power for my job. I really enjoy it for my hobbies too. And I HATE laptops because of their inability to be upgraded... A laptop feels like a toy compared to a desktop.
I just upgraded my almost 10 year old Antec case and 6 year old PC Power & Cooling 750W PSU with a new i5 2500k CPU, LGA1155 mobo, 16GB DDR3 1600. Total cost: about $250 (thanks Microcenter) and I'm good for another 3 years on the cutting edge.
$250 in a desktop will give me about 3-8 multiples of the benchmark of the most powerful $3000 laptop you can buy... And greatly reduced risk, increased return. IE: Any laptop manufacturer repair out of warranty requires specialty part(s) that often (usually?) rival the cost of replacement.
I know that laptops are sexy, and the only solution for today's go-go-getters writing business plans in coffee shops but 85% of their use seems to be people crouching over them awkwardly on a table... IMO, most people would be better of with a desktop.
That all said, I'm looking for a laptop myself... I know that for professions that require calcs, Sager and Clevo has a good reputations. But they are ridiculously expensive.
I'm thinking the best way might be to just get a good deal on a researched, fairly well reviewed $400-600 machine. Then hope for the best... Some will last years, some might last months, others might crash as soon as the warranty expires. Here's a list to start with maybe: http://www.squaretrade.com/pages/laptop-reliability-1109
CPU footprint sockets do not change so rapidly as to make upgrading impractical... My observation has been 1 socket should be good for at least 2 CPUs (1 upgrade) and 4 years min... Just take care to avoid sockets already on their way out. ll55 should be good for at least another 3 years for top of the line. Many casual users are still doing great on P4 775.
Why is there no standard laptop platform? It's might have something to do with the obsession with thinner and thinner electronics. Or maybe it's just too profitable keeping them as disposable consumer goods. Standardize some laptop parts for pity's sake already.