I would go for quality, amoung other things, reliability, price, warranty (extended), and everything else, life-span of the notebook. If I had this kind of a choice, I would go for a Dell. They are far reliable than a Gateway. Not just for the brand name, but in reputation. The notebooks from Gateways have some issues with thier hinges that holds the screen up...which tends to crack and break. Others suffer from overheating and die as a result. Sure, like all other notebooks, Dell has some similar cases, but the ratio is more Gateways than Dell.
To make this short....Go for a Dell.
Hope that this helps and good luck.
alright, i have figured that among high quality audio I also want a high qualtiy graphics card. I have narrowed it down to an inspiron 9400, and xps m170 or a gateway. All computers come with a nvidia go 7800. the 7800GTX comes in the m170. My problem is that I really want a dual core processer for recording, layering, and formatting music. The m170 comes with pentium m(its only turnoff) but has the 7800 gtx. The gateway and the inspiron come with dual cores and the go 7800. I can get the gateway or the xps for about 2000 or I can get a refurbished inspiron 9400 with dual core and other good specs along with the go 7800 for roughly 1700. considering quality, performance gains between GPU's and CPU's, I am leaning towards the gateway or inspiron. any suggestions, comments, or criticisms are appreciated.