In one of the offices I work, all we buy are Think Pads for pro and personal use. ie: I bought my own ThinkPad. And we love them. Not as slick as the new HPs, the the keyboards rock and they are about the ONLY company that makes notbooks WITHOUT THE GLOSSY LCD screens!
I still say, shoot the marketing moron who said "notebook LCDs should reflect the user's face". They also offer WinXP Pro for free (With Vista business, of course) on all their notebooks.
The SL500 isn't military grade, but its a slick modernized ThinkPad for about $600~700.