You truly get what you pay for. During college I worked on PCs to make some extra $ - hated working on Dells or Gateways... rather annoying boxen. Into corporate america I go, and I get what I considered a small fortune allocated to buy myself a development laptop. Anything I wanted, as long as it was a Dell
:) This was just shy of 3 years ago. I bought a smashing d800 - carried it all over the world, in a backpack, throwning it into and out of the car 5 days a week.
The video card smoked on it at 2 yrs - had a tech at my desk at the office 36 hours later putting a new one in.
Nearing the end of warranty, I called support. Again, you get what you pay for, and what had been purchased was the 3 year gold warranty with full accidental damage coverage. After I went through the littany of things that were worn out (not broken, just USED) with the tech on the phone (I was on hold for 30 seconds - the Gold queues are short), he said it was cheaper for Dell to just replace the machine. How nice - a new d820 was shipped a few days later that is faster/bigger in all respects to the previous machine. Fully covered under warranty. How much was this warranty? $300.
I recently bought another Dell - M90 - top of the line mobile workstation, with the warranty that I had on the previous machine. You can't get close to it's specs from any manufacture out there without giving them $2k more than I paid - and the machine is fabulous - with no pre-loaded crapware - they don't do so much of that on an engineering machine.
Long story short - you get what you pay for. Pay $300 for a machine you get a $300 machine. get the cheapest/standard warranty you get 2 hour hold times - what do you expect? As a previous poster mentioned, I don't have the time to build a machine, and build your own laptop is hard... for the money I have a great machine and a stellar warranty that I've seen in action.
I used to hate Dell - now not so much :)