Mine has the IBM logo on it still. Which model Lenovos were failing? Maybe they went cheap on some component but the right models still maintain the Mil-spec ratings.
I've been pointed towards higher end Asus and heard great and bad things about the CS so not sure. Clevo always intrigued me but none are Thinkpads.
T51? Not sure. We bought a batch of half-a-dozen two-three years and all failed except one. Dell and a few Alienware laptops did slightly better - but not good enough. Asus customer service does indeed suck. They are a Taiwanese company so I would know.
They don't seem to make laptops like they used to. The P4 Fujitsu notebook I purchased in 2002 is still running strong.