Buying a new laptop

I’m in the market for a new laptop. My current laptop is running Windows Vista. Guess that says it all. Vista is not the greatest operating system. It’s slow and different applications are always crashing. I really want to give Windows 7 a try.
My little 2 year old started popping keys off my laptop one day. I popped them all back on except for the shift key, so I have no shift key at the moment and the little green push thing underneath the shift key fell off. At least I can still use the shift key though. Then I got a crumb stuck underneath the J key. I popped the J key off and the tab which holds the key in place broke off, so I have no J key too. My poor laptop is in rough shape.
For my next laptop, I have a bunch of options. I can go with a brand name like Dell, HP, or Gateway. I can head over to Walmart or Best Buy and get whatever they sell. I can also get a custom made laptop from an independent retailer.
Not sure yet which way I am going to go, but I was recently made aware of Howard custom computers. It is a US based, family owned company in Mississippi. In 1968 Billy Howard Sr. quit his job at General Electric to start his own company with his wife Linda, called Howard Industries. They sell custom computers along with other computer products from Panasonic, Fujitsu and Motion.
It looks like they have a good variety of products available. Besides computers they have storage devices such as hard drives, cd and dvd drives, flash memory etc., network devices such as modems, routers, network cards etc. and software such as operating systems, graphic design and games.
Customer service seems to be important too. Customer service is all based in the US to assist with technical training, support and networking.
Howard custom computers might be a good choice if I decide to go with a custom laptop.