For computers in general, I recommend HP
. I currently use the HP pavilion entertainment notebook that is great for everything, such as internet browsing, watching dvds, built in webcam/mic, bluray player, hdmi output,and opening large programs (even computer games that are unable to be run on standard laptops - it seems like gamers always seem to make the best electronics purchases). It has a great screen and very good specs. The one downside I find is that it is large and therefore difficult to carry around. I use it as my home computer. This should be one of the top deciders when it comes to laptops: what are you going to do with it. Is it going to stay at home primarily and serve all types of duties, or on the other side of the spectrum, just mainly internet browsing and creating documents that you carry around everywhere (then I would recommend a netbook).
I bought mine from woot.com for around 700 bucks and refurbished. I highly recommend woot for electronics purchases, but use it once you know roughly what you want (specs, size, perks). I would also recommend going to an electronic expert store in your area and speaking with them regarding you requirements, but then purchase online where you can find the best prices. I generally would not recommend a MAC computer unless you are going to an Apple-based campus (such as my undergrad college - Emory) since you can have issues with compatibility, which are very frustrating and time consuming. And they seems to be quite overpriced.
I hope this helps, if you have not made the purchase already!