I have a Dell Inspiron E1505. Very nice laptop. I have no problems and performances are really nice. All my family have Dell computers and everybody is satisfied.

For you, going to college, you'll want a lighter laptop than my E1505. Try to look at the E1405. I has the same components than the E1505 but with only an integrated graphics solution, which is good for you because it saves battery life. You should invest in a 9-cell battery also.

http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/inspn_e1405?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs

HP makes also good quality laptops.

http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/computer_can_series.do?storeName=computer_store&category=notebooks&a1=Usage&v1=Travel%2Fmobility&series_name=dv2000t_series

See also Toshiba and Lenovo ( more oriented throught business, but Lenovo makes very nice products and maybe has the best warranty ).