^Meh.. tough call on Alienware. They offer a 4-year warranty, yes, but their 3-year accidental is $370, vs. $150 for Lenovo's 3-year accidental. Tough to justify it on a cost basis, especially since an Alienware with a 660M costs $1500 as it is. Anyway, good build plus terrible support is useless. I'm sure you've seen all the complaints about Asus support.. no thanks, I'd rather have a laptop that breaks every year and gets fixed the next day, than one that might break in 2 years under warranty, but takes months and hours of phone calls to fix.
Best support, Lenovo hands down. Quick personal story, I had an Ideapad whose battery died, called Lenovo, they sent out a new battery via Fedex 2-day the next morning, and a prepaid shipping label for me to return the dead battery. Not really a huge deal, but OEM batteries are in the $80 range so it's not pocket change either. Only took 30 minutes of troubleshooting and phone time.
Asus support seems to be a joke, just look at recent threads (some guy has been having issues with an Asus G-series for 6 months, no resolution from Asus..). Also, consider the warranty options. Lenovo will sell a 3-year warranty + accidental coverage for $150. I haven't seen a cheaper 3-year accidental plan, either they like to throw away money (doubtful- they're the 2nd largest PC maker in the world, and profits and revenue continue to grow) or they think/know their laptops are built better, and more reliable than the competition.
But to be clear, the Ideapad line isn't as durable as the Thinkpad line. Not that they're flimsy, they're just not built from carbon fiber and magnesium (but then again, hardly any laptops are).
As for build quality, the Lenovo Y580 actually has decent GPU temps during Furmark (nowhere near 95C) - 75C max temp, vs. 79-82C max for the Asus G55. So it has sufficient cooling... and it weighs just 6 pounds, vs. 8.4 pounds for the G55. If you ask me, better cooling, clean aesthetics, and lower weight say a lot for build quality. Now, if you're abusive to your laptop, *maybe* the G55 will take a beating better, but I'd expect either to survive a few falls from a table. http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?17184-Serious-Matter-G55vw-heat-COMPARED-TO-lenovo-y580
If you can deal with the performance of a 660M, I'd go with a Y580. Otherwise, get an MSi or Sager/Clevo if you want something with better graphics. Support for an MSi or Sager/Clevo will be the same, if you buy it from a reseller like Malibal or Xoticpc (the reseller handles all the warranty issues).Edited by jrbroad77 - 8/23/12 at 4:16pm