This thread is almost 2 years old so people's opinions may well have changed.

It depends what you mean by best. Best for what?
Exactly so! That would apply to desktops and many components and peripherals as well.

With a laptop there are certain specific considerations:

1. Battery life.................long life batteries greatly increase the price and are not needed by many laptop users who basically use their machines as portable desktops.

2. Operating environment: indoors/outdoors?

3. Robustness

4. Home entertainment capability.

5. Screen size

6. Weight

7. Storage capacity

If you have very specific requirements then you might want to go to third party re-sellers who buy barebones cores and tailor them to individual customer requirements. The big OEMs go for perceived average user requirements and price points, which can make chosing between them difficult.

Of the brand names I would have thought that the best performers would be Alienware (Dell?) but they are gaming laptops, and very expensive.