My personal preference would be the new Lenovo laptop, it does everything basically... and is one nice computer that weighs about a pound or 2. It is good for programming too and the price for the different models range from 1000 - 1500 USD.
have a look at the dell site http://www.dell.com/uk/p?~ck=mn. I usually buy dell, they are pretty good and not too expensive. What kind of programming are you planning to do? I guess a i5 should suffice, but that said I don't do programming (other than basic java) but web development and I got myself a i7 processor and it is pretty fast
If you want to virtualize computers, I recommend at least and i5 or equivalant (make sure it has virtualizton options in the bios!) and at least 6 GB of ram. Hard drive should be atleast 500 GB. and this computer should virtualize at least 2 computers at once.
I personally believe that, if you use your latlop with care and clean it properly, Scann your laptop and aware of what you installing in your laptop. That really helpful to increase the life of the laptop.
Dells new Inspiron 15 (Touch) is awesome laptop with all new features like Intel® Pentium® processor 2127U (2M Cache, 1.9GHz, with UMA) processor, Windows 8 OS and 4 gb ram, 500 gb harddisk and this all features we get in just 33000 rs only