After hunting around for a new laptop, I finally settled on a System 76 "Pangolin Performance". I already have a desktop and so originally was going to go with something a little more compact, but ended up going with something a little bigger (and way more badassed.)
I pimped it out with pretty much the best of everything including a Core i7-740QM processor, 8 gb of ram, Intel Centrino Ultimate wifi card, 500 GB 7200rpm drive and extra battery/power adapters. All in all, a pretty good value when you figure it came to around $1800 including over $100 in shipping and the 2 year warranty. I was a little annoyed that I had to pay $200 in "duty" aka HST but hopefully I get most of that back since my business is paying for it.
Anyhows, on to the laptop. First impression is that this machine #$@#$ing screams. The quad core, dual threaded processor is fast. I like to run multiple VMs using VirtualBox so I assume they will run well with the processor and ample RAM.
It actually has a full keyboard including number keys on the side. The touchpad is unique with a kind of rough, bubbled surface that takes a little to get used to. I am not sold on the biometric scanner in between the two trackpad buttons but we will see how that works out.
The only thing I am disappointed with so far is the battery. I was expecting poor battery life in the neighborhood of 2-3 hours but so far I am seeing less than that. I am going to try using powertop and see if I can optimize that.
Overall a pretty cool laptop; hopefully I can squeeze some more life out of the battery. Good thing I got an extra battery and power adapter...