I have worked with Toshiba, Dell, Mac, Gateway, Acer, Sony, HP and some off brands. IMHO HP has been the best for notebooks.
+1 on the HP that Bobby_M suggested and linked to. The price is good and for what you are doing you won't need anything better. When you go with cheap laptops you have to be carefull with the type of processor that is put into it. That HP is at least still using an Intel. It may only be a Celeron (their lower end type) but for surfing the internet, it will be fine.