IBM Thinkpad or any other?

I am planning to buy a notebook/laptop. I have company-provided IBM Thinkpad T41, which I like a lot. I am fan of Thinkpad but thought to ask you folks about your choices and opinions about any other brand.

I am wondering, what all other brands are as good as IBM Thinkpad? I am looking for following things:

  • 1400×1250 or higher screen resolution
  • at-least 3 hours battery back-up
  • compact, sleek and strong body

RAM, CPU, Motherboard, Graphics-card etc are things which, I think, most of brands provide various options for.

Oh yeah, what factors you consider before buying a notebook? Your experiences after you bought a notebook and found that you missed something while making decision.