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[tlug] Favorite Linux laptops these days?

I'm leaning strongly towards retiring my desktop system entirely and exclusively using a Linux laptop, so I wanted to get everyone's thoughts on what are the current great Linux laptops.

I spend a lot of time on a MacBook Pro, and that heavily influences my requirements. I've even installed Linux on a couple of them, but it was kind of a rocky experience. Anyway, my hardware requirements are:

-Quad-core CPU (no big deal, everybody's got them)
-Must support 8 GB of memory; 16 GB or more very strongly preferred
-I love the big, very smooth touchpad on the MBP, and I really want one like it in a Linux laptop -Really good keyboard feel. I can't replace the keyboard it comes with, so I have to love it -Should be as thin as an MBP but will compromise on this if everything else is there -Size not larger than 15". 13 is fine, I'll be keeping the 24" monitor from my desktop
-Very good battery life. Should be in the ballpark of the MacBook Pro.
-Matte-finish screen. I could potentially compromise on this and put a matte filter on a glossy, but I'd really rather just have a matte screen.
-Bluetooth (no big deal, everybody's got it, pretty much)
-High-quality hardware. This machine should last a long time. Fast repair/replacement in case it doesn't.

Nice to have but not musts
-I love the backlit keyboard of the MBP. I almost put this under Musts, but I'm aware of no other laptop that has this feature. Would like it very, very much, though. Blows away the keyboard light on my formerly favorite laptop, the ThinkPad. -Support for dual external monitors would be very nice. Almost a Must, but not quite.
-Support for two internal disks, configurable as RAID, that works under Linux. -If I can order it with a DVORAK keyboard layout, that would be cool. I realize this is highly unlikely.
-Thunderbolt. It might be useful for something, someday

Things I don't care about
-Killer graphics. I realize a high-spec machine like this is probably going to have great graphics, but I really don't care. I'm not a gamer. -High-res LCD. 1440 x 900 is fine; I can live with less if it's a 13". My kids have 13" MBPs and I would trade resolution for that lightness and small size.

There was so much I loved about ThinkPads back in the day, and although they're just about the antithesis of the MacBook Pro in appearance, thickness, etc., I'm going to take a look at them nevertheless just to see where they're at. I've never owned a Lenovo; all mine were genuine IBM.

So, what are your favorite Linux laptops? Anybody got one that nails all of my Musts and most of my Wants?



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