Sony doesnt do anything other companies dont do so ethics wise i accept it as a part of life.
Intel do the bully boy, apple do the DRM thing as well, MS have all there new digital signing and its variants etc. they all do something i dont like so i dont bother.
I still buy sony stuff though because its usually twice as good as their competitors in terms of technology and build quality, its there software division that almost always lets them down, they are resonsible for all the crappy DRM and the poor replacement of the sonicstage.
VAIO laptops ive not owned one but ive used a few and they seem pretty good, but not better than anyone else, they have the advantage of using sony screens but thats about it. Laptops i would go acer myself they have a good reputation and arent biased towards AMD or intel you can get both and there laptops consistently get good reviews and they are cheap. Its either that or a Dell and upgrade the ram for me, but thats me, if i could get it cheap i would get a VAIO.
Ive used sony products for years, ive always used walkman for my portable music and ive never had a problem, even with all its flaws my NWA-3000 is still alot better and sturdier than an ipod or a creative and it was a good price. My DNE-10 still works perfectly well and still has a great battery life and is still the smallest CD player in the world. My minidisk player still works allright even after all the abuse and my clie is still in perfect working order. So ive not had much use of there customer support, they have the advantage of having there own chain of shops though so you can take it in and do it from a shop which is a plus.
Conclusion, i would buy a VAIO if it was the best i could get for the price, every company has there bad points sony considering how big it is isnt as bad as many.