are always heard, simply because they're vociferous. Happy consumers may form the majority, but they tend to stay silent - they're happy, so why bother posting on web forums, etc.?
I've used Toshiba laptops for years, in fact I have one now, and I've developed an affection for them. They tend to be well-built, and in my experience at least they are reliable performers. I've certainly never had a single problem with one.
I've used Sony machines over the years, but I've never owned one. I've not heard bad reports in terms of reliability from the people I know who have owned them.
Statistically the most popular laptop manufacturer is Hewlett Packard, with annual sales approaching 37 million units. In second place is Acer with almost 31 million. Toshiba comes next with sales of 22 million, followed by Dell with 16 million, and then Sony with 11 million.