If you can go in to a store to look at the laptop then get the one that feels best to you. The keyboards and mouse/touchpad will vary from laptop to laptop and buying one just because of the brand name could leave you with a keyboard you hate to use.
HP and Dell have about the same build quality. Both sacrifice build quality in order to reduce cost. If you can, go for ASUS, IBM/Lenovo, or Toshiba. If not, then just compare the specs and physical appearance to see what you like.