I had only dealt with the cheap end of Dell from a previous job, then last year work was doing a deal for discount on Dell and I was in the market for a decent desktop replacement laptop that could be used for photography. I managed to get an XPS 15 for under £1000 with blu-ray, core i-7, 2GB Nvidia graphics and importantly for the photos a 1080P RGB backlit screen, which I have to say is the best screen I have come across. It's been rock solid, and is still lightning fast 18 months on. Currently encoding video for my phone from a film from the PVR at 150fps, while typing this.
The other half has bought a cheaper inspirion, but not the rock bottom model so we'll see how that goes.