The larger companies like HP/Compaq, Dell, Toshiba, etc have their call centers in India in many cases so it can be extremely frustrating doing the initial contact and discussion.
However, these companies repair the notebooks in the US in most cases (HP has repair facility at Milpitas, CA and another one elsewhere) so they are pretty prompt in most cases once the notebook is sent in for repair.
It is risky ordering especially notebooks from 2nd tier manufacturers as they have many proprietary parts. Desktops in many cases can be repaired by anyone (even a local place) as they can pop in nearly any hard drive, video card, motherboard, etc if needed. There are local notebook repair places also but of course they are not free and you are trying to get you notebook repaired under warranty.
Just got my son's machine back after it spent a month at the repair depot, and it returned broken. Alienware's response, after 5 hours of telephone troubleshooting, "send it in again." Their only concession to not fixing it properly, is to expedite the second repair. This level of warranty service is unacceptable.