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Although I am using a dell notebook atm....that's mainly because I got 2 free from a friend whose company dumped 3 D610 latitudes due to overheating issues and I work in IT and fixing laptops is one thing I do.
If I had to choose between dell or apple...apple. Yes, it costs more, but the build quality on the Macbooks tends to be much better and warranty service is superb.
Only exception to this is if you're really handy about doing all of your own tech support...including troubleshooting/replacing parts like CPU fans, motherboards, etc.