While you do still want a rugged laptop, ultimately it is better to make sure you have a fantastic recovery plan for when shit happens.
One way is to go fully virtualised. Treat your host operating system as a basic shell, and instead install yoru real software on a VM. We use VMWare Workstation, Virtual box or others would work too.
Now fix your backup/recovery strategy. Backup your entire VM frequently - daily is ideal. A good way is to make use linux for the host, and keep the VM itself on an LVM volume - then you can read-consistent copies using LVM snaphots in the background with no impact on the guest - no pausing, no shutdown needed. You might also want to do a file-level back from within the VM of your very important files as a double safeguard.
Now you are sorted. Your machine will die, and when it does, you simply buy new one, re-install a host, then recover your VM onto the new one.
This also gives you an excuse to get a fairly grunty laptop - running VMs gives it a real good workout.
"Your stupidity, Allen, is simply not up to par." -- Dave Mack (mack@inco.UUCP) "Yours is." -- Allen Gwinn (firstname.lastname@example.org), in alt.flame