I'm not sure I'm into Thinkpad for "bragging rights". Fact is that they mostly run Linux well (the usual Intel wifi and graphics blowup aside) and the service addons are fine. That said: Dell is shipping Ubuntu pre-installed with OS images that have many base components patched. That means that I cannot just upgrade to the next stock Ubuntu version because there are custom HW patches that partly cannot be mainlined. (The infamous APLS touchpad patch that only Ubuntu carries is one bad example, even though it's in Ubuntu mainline. I cannot just install Debian without rolling out special kernels.) I'm not sure vendors are doing it right, I'd rather like them to upstream everything first, not pay $Company for special OEM images only.