Having had PCs for ten years before I stepped to Mac two years ago, the very thing with Mac is not only that it is a brick that works flawless, but a brick that works seemingly flawlessly with anything made to connect a Mac that I connect it to. That in essence is a whole different world than the compatiblity problems and indeed problems with bricks themself in PC world!
My last PC was Fujitsu notebook (made in Japan) and it managed to damage 3x HDD and 1x expensive at time 2GB ram. Support was likewise not good. Mac is a breeze... a whole different world where things are working and excellent support also evenings and saturdays only a call away.
No plan to upgrade soon, my two year old MB17" is working flawless. If I did plan to, why complain... the Thunderbolt seem to be there instead of a displayport, and it accepts dipslay port...
Thanks Apple for making great products!!!
P.S. I should add, build quality is worlds ahead of any PC notebooks I seen. If my MB17 was a PC it would be time to upgrade, now it looks as if I can get another more two years out of it... Plus, maybe Windows 7 has taken PCs 5 years ahead, but Mac OS is seemingly 15 years more advanced after that...
We need to be careful when comparing notebooks. Most users have very limited exposure to laptops other than the one they own, or perhaps the one their kids or spouse owns.. maybe the company provided laptops. As with your qualifier "any laptops I've seen.."
So when they go and buy a brand new laptop, of almost any brand, its going to seem far ahead of what they had both in build quality and performance, just because its current/newer. In other words, it's usually not an accurate or current comparison.
I've never heard of a PC of any type that inherently broke hard drives or RAM. I've heard of bad runs of hard drives and RAM which goes bad.. but since the electronics of ALL notebooks, Mac and PC alike, are all using the same stuff, same hard drives, same RAM, same chipsets, same CPU's, etc, etc.. and all manufacturers take the lowest bids from any company that meets their specs.. I'm not buying that a PC/Mac is inherently better than a Mac/PC..
And even though almost all laptop are made in the same 2-3 factories, manufacturers DO specify the components for the build, LCD panels, video cards, CPU's, drives, etc.. so the level to which a PC is built can vary with price levels.
Perhaps the most significant way manufacturers distinguish themselves is through case design. Here, there's no doubt Mac is ahead of most. Their new unibody chassis is a work of art. Unfortunately it's also pretty average weight wise. For an average user perhaps this is okay, but when you want something lighter and even more durable, you'll want something like the Lenovo x201s
, which has a one piece forged magnesium frame with kevlar coated carbon fiber panels, MILSPEC ratings for water/dust/shock, and a low 2.4 pound weight for a screaming fast i7 machine with a 12inch matte LED LCD with a standard 6-8 hour battery.
In any event, while Mac's certainly make an attractive product, you can certainly meet or exceed both the electronics and use defined build quality with PC's. You just need to sort through a rather daunting number of brands and models to find something, where with Mac's you just walk in and buy one of the only few models available.
Personally, compatibility with certain software and devices is important to me. I try to buy PC's which are ISV certified, and devices which are certified for both PC and Mac because you can't predict what you're clients will have or what weird circumstances you'll find yourself in where connectivity matters.