Bob, if you dont mind my bringing this tread somewhat back on topic.
Why do you say no Mac?
The reason i ask, is that my last 2 laptops have been a macs.. and i am averaging over 4 years per laptop.. Granted i pay a bit more upfront, but i personally dont know anyone that is able to use a laptop for as long as i am... (spoken, everyone with a pc i know goes through them quite fast)
Also, you can get a 13" macbook pro for just about 1000$, over a 4-5 year period, i would guess that would actually cost you less....
I have a buddy who had a dell, within 2 years the damn thing was literally falling apart, the plastic around the hinges for the screen was all breaking, as well as the case in general...
Asus has that super thin laptop that is a knock off of the macbook air. One of my buddies has one of those, the build quality of that machine seems to be every bit as good as the mac product.. Maybe that one will be an option if Apple isn't?
At this point i don't think i will ever buy a laptop made of plastic again if i have the choice between metal v.s. plastic regardless of the brand.