If still considering a laptop, recommend looking at Lenovo -
I took delivery on a W520 Thinkpad about a year ago and am very happy with it.
When matching specs with a Macbook Pro at the time, the W520 was substantially less expensive. The current model is W530. Pricing for a W530 configured similar to my last year's model comes to around $2,000 now. That includes mid model selection for i7, 8gig ram, and 180gig SSD. I started pricing with the W530 model that includes built-in x-rite monitor calibration.
I bought and used a lenovo last year for a gig I was doing on contract. Lenovo is NOT
the old IBM Thinkpad of yesteryear.
The old thinkpads were built like tanks..full metal, heavy duty, last forever.
I cannot say the same about the new lenovo. I'd have to look it up, but I got what I believe was the top of the line laptop, I think it was the thinkpad 520 (I can look if you need me to)....I was surprised to see the amount of plastic on the new ones. The thing had very 'shaky' USB slots in it...I was doing some work that required USB to serial communications, and the noise I got off this thing was not fun. I actually got better performance doing the same thing on my macbookpro donig Win7 on VMWare connecting USB to serial, which should not be the case.
I also found the connections using the IBM dock with the laptop poor with regard to hooking to my Dell U2711...if you bumped the desk slightly, the connection with the docking station to the laptop was so frail, often the monitor would get noisy or lose connection all together, which would cause another PITA to get back online...and after sleeping, the IBM would not often correctly come back to the high resolution.
I was a fan of thinkpads in the past, but honestly, IMHO and last experience, it wasn't worth the money.
I know this is anecdotal, but that's my take on them these days.