Here are some impressions from the Lenovo Thinkpad Edge 14 after a few hours of use. First the specs (I have not made any upgrades myself yet):
14'' 1366x768 Display. Matte! (Calling UberGerbil!).
Matte black finish.
AMD Turion II P540 (2.4GHz, 25W TDP, 45nm, 2MB L2 cache), Radeon 4250, 2GB RAM.
320GB 7200rpm drive (WD Scorpio Black thankfully)
Realtek Wifi and Realtek gigabit ethernet.
3xUSB 2.0 + 1 USB/eSATA combo, ExpressCard, HDMI, VGA-out, DVD writer.
6-cell 48WHr battery.
Now the impressions. First, this is not a T series thinkpad so forget about comparisons with T series. This is a budget machine (cost me about $500+Tax) so it is hard to complain.
1. The build quality is decent and certainly a step up from other budget systems. Along with Lenovo support and thinkvantage tools etc, this is quite nicely separated from other cheap laptops.
2. Display and finish: I like the matte display and the matte finish. Note that not all SKUs come with matte, so do check out the details of your particular SKU if you intend to buy one.
3. Keyboard is quite nice though I do prefer the "classic" thinkpad keyboards to this one. The keys are soft and offer slightly less feedback than classic thinkpad keyboards but is still quite nice to type on. It easily beats the keyboards that you will find on most other laptops. I also have a X100e and the keyboard on the X100e is quite similar except that Edge 14 keyboard seems to be about 10% larger in each dimension. Trackpad is generously sized and is decent but I use an external mouse mostly. Trackpoint is also present but I have not tested it.
4. Ample connectivity and easy upgrade of HDD and RAM are nice to have.
5. Performance is decent though I plan to upgrade RAM to 4GB. I have not tested battery life so far. It stays cool and does not become noisy (though that is subjective).