I was reading this post When buying a laptop, make sure to look for build quality at the digital kitty blog. She talks about how great the Apple laptops are in form and function even though she is not crazy about the GUI.
If you have been reading here you might realize that I've personally had a very different experience with the build quality on my Consumer grade Macbook. My iBook was a bit better but something flipped out in it's logical board rendering it unusable so maybe it is not as good as I thought it was.
This has brought me to the conclusion most Consumer grade laptops are really junk. Even though we are paying upwards of $800 to $1200 for them they really do not hold up very well. Cracking cases, dead pixels, failed hard drives, memory failures, logic board failure, driver issues, etc. I have come to the point where for laptops the extended warranties are a requirement. Pushing up the cost another $200 or more. Extended warranties are generally a rip off for the consumer though.
My experience on Business model laptops is a bit limited, being mainly Dells. But then again they have not been the most robust. There were the C series latitudes that continued to break the latches. The other C series I bought off of e-bay with the keyboard that continually repeats characters. The C Series at work with the failed sound card on the logic board.
As I write this the conclusion I reach, is that modern laptops (since 2000) are just not built very well at all, Consumer and Business. They are just not made to stand up to the stress of being dropped in a bag and carted around every where.
Given the widespread use of laptops in today's world manufactures need to do one of two things price them as truly disposable items that are meant to last for a for a year or two and be trashed. That is a pretty stupid plan given how they need to be disposed of. Or match the build quality to the price and the consumers need, make sure they last about five years and can handle being carted around everywhere.