There is no best brand. Most bikes use many of the same components from Shimano, SRAM, Mavic, Campy etc so largely they are similar. The basic differnece is between the frame design and materials.
Most brands make a full range of models from entry level to professional.
The question should be 'what is the best BIKE for me'? The so called 'best' bike in any brand might cost over $5000 and you may not be getting that one for Christmas.
I advise people to shop for a good bike shop with a pro staff and good service then ask them what the best bike is for your needs. The fit of the bike is most important and you may find the that so called "best" brand does not fit your body type well or for that matter your budget.
The durability of a bike mostly depends on the component spec and in this area you get what you pay for. Generally for entry level racing, a bike with Shimano Ultegra components provides a great balance of durability, performance, light weight and cost.
There are literally hundreds of great bike brands in the world.
Personally I have been loving my Cannondale R2000 road bike, my Gunnar Cross Hairs cross bike and my Specialized Epic mountain bike. So IMHO, as a cyclist for over 25 years, bike shop mechanic, factory rep (Diamond Back and Giant), cycling coach, road and MTB racer, and all around bikie, there is no Best Brand.