In terms of hardware, you can get better bang for the buck with a IBM Clone laptop. The hardware between the two is essentially the same stuff. And for the price of a Mac, with and IBM Clone at that price, you would get more stuff (like a native HDMI port for example). So if you go with a Mac just realize you're paying a price premium for a brand name. I don't know why people are so up in arms about this all the time though, it exists with all forms of consumer products. Some people will tolerate paying and others won't. There's no good/bad, right/wrong, its just called consumerism.
So the bigger difference lies in the software. You should get a Mac if you're fed up with Windows, really like something from OS X, or need a Mac only application. Its not about being better, its about wanting something from the Mac. That should be the stronger reason/motivation for you. And its a question only you can answer. Maybe go into a store and give one a test drive.
How are you with computer problems? Macs are still computers and will still have problems (just not viruses). So are you super hands on with that kind of stuff? If so, okay a Mac is fine. If not, then what's your Mac support network like? Friends, family, co-workers, neighbours, or a store with an Apple certified tech, are any of these available to you? Getting quick and easy help for Windows is fairly easy in most markets, but that's not always the same for Macs. If your support isn't great that doesn't mean you should not buy a Mac, but you should at least think about this.
I think Macs are great computers. I think you'd really enjoy owning one. But sometimes they are not the right choice for some people. But that's something only you can really decide. Someone on the Internet can't really give you a true answer for that.
If you stick with IBM Clone, I would also check out HP. Something like an HP 16t line, with maybe a few upgrades, and you should get a really strong computer. The only recommendation I would have though is see if you can wait for Windows 7 full release. It is performing light years better than Vista. So I would want to get my new computer installed natively with that OS.