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I'm a huge thinkpad fan. I'd totally go with one of these if you have a bit more budget: http://www.laptopmag.com/articles/lenovo-thinkpad-x62-mod

If you're going for a regular second-hand thinkpad (which is also a fine choice for linux in my opinion), the poor quality trackpad doesn't have to be an issue. Many people swear by the trackpoint 'nipple', once they get used to it.

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