Let me share a few ideas.

1. Do not get a laptop with the Core i7 today (except that dual core model.) All the quad cores, even the Sandy Bridge are still getting a tad hot.

2. I'd consider that nice http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MC700LL/A?mco=CNET
Be sure to look at Amazon.com for this model too.
It's well built and should hit the 4 year mark with care.

3. The HP is OK but I'm still trying to resolve a warranty issue 9 months later. I try to not write about that but it's tough when it's been that long out of action on that purchase.

4. Asus is OK around here. All over the map on how tough they are. The cheaper ones do tend to break sooner.