The discussion got a little away from the w540 comparison requested.
I use and really appreciate a w520 bought in late 2011 IIRC and I have upgraded components all along as my needs increased. I was tethering with this on a shoot today. I look into the Lenovo forums occasionally to stay up with what the new "W" (workstation) models offer. Anyone considering a w540 needs to read a lot of angry, disappointed forum messages. Some do refute the large numbers of complaints, but some people who evaluate ThinkPad laptops as their job suggest that people buy a w520 instead!
I like my "FD" 1920 x whatever (16:9) screen, although I was sorry to see the old 4:3 screens disappear. Have not tried to calibrate it but keep meaning to get around to it. (I own a Color Munki Photo.)
I am writing just to ask KCC and anyone else reading this to read the "w" machine Lenovo user forum carefully. Sorry not to be able to put the link in this post. I am responding on a tablet.
I have used the 520,530 and now 540. They lost a lot of the tough older styling but made it lighter and has a much better screen than any one before it. The problem I had was the color temp was closer to 7000k so my whites looked more yellow and then it made pp difficult. Also the left palm rest did get pretty warm. I am either going to get another macbook pro and run windows again or try the dell precision m3800. I brought the 540 back because of the screen.