I use an HP at work and at home and they both do fine. Granted right now, they both run on VMs but the one at home used to run as the only OS for awhile and did fine. I had some graphics compatibility issues trying to use Unity 3D but that doesn't affect anything important. Just couldn't get cool visual backgrounds.
I run ubuntu from a samsung, it works great, (samsung chronos). I haven't had any problems, but I haven't used ubuntu with another computer so I wouldn't know if anything is missing. It runs smooth as silk, way faster than my windows partion!
As for the question about what laptops is good with linux, any computers will do good with linux because it is so good at manege resources, in my eyes anyways. Because it is so fast it is possible to have a fast running system on a very thin computer, so if you want a laptop to surf the web and also have some style, you can have an i5 superslim laptop. The best thing of all is that you can program on it with no probs!
I prefer programming in Windows just because I like visual studio and the easy f5 to debug. I still write my code in vim, but I am not very good at it :P
I have an older Macbook with Intel dual core processor that Apple no longer supports in any regard (apps/OS). I found Ubuntu works awesome on this unit, the only feature that was disabled was the remote control. That could probably be circumvented by some Linux-wiz.
With Ubuntu, now there's thousands of fully functional apps available and MS compatible Office version right off the intial install.