I ended up gotting a new laptop. Since my weapon of choice has been Thinkpad for ages, I got me a new Lenovo. The T-series has existed for ages. Even IBM made them during 90s. The T-series laptops are a bit pricey, but they are meant for working. Couple of years ago a colleague said "and they look like tools, too!".
Since this is an ultrabook (whatever that actually means). It is quite light and only 22 mm thick, as you would expect there is no DVD-drive and only 2 USB-ports. They are USB3, but still, only two of them. Everything in this reminds me of Apple laptops, with the difference that there is a latch at the bottom of the machine. You can open the bottom very easily and all of the parts are easily accessible. It is easy to notice the philosophical difference in design and the ease of manufacturing with Lenovo and Apple. This one was designed by the same people, who actually build and fix them.
The really exciting part is that the state-of-the-art Ivy Bridge CPU/chipset/graphics -combo runs really, really fast. The difference to my previous laptop is a huge. To speed up things even more, I changed the 128 MiB Samsung SSD into 240 MiB Intel SpeedDaemon 520-series. I'm getting Windows Performance index of 4,9 with the weakest link being GPU and specifically desktop graphics. i5 CPU gets 6,9, memory gets 5,9 and SSD gets maximum reading of 7,9. All of these are really good numbers for a 1,7 GHz machine!
Typical usage scenario for a business laptop is to use it in docking station at the office. I got the Lenovo USB3-dock, but still I wouldn't call this a traditional docking station. To "dock" the laptop, you just connect USB3-cable and charger. The dock has quite a many USB3-ports, two DV-i ports and a 1Gbit/s Ethernet connector, all of which I require when docked.
But I'll stamp this with my seal-of-approval. T430u is definitely one to get!
I came across your blog when i searched T430u, i am still using this laptop, replaced with a new SSD 500GB. blazing fast still (of course not for serious 3D graphic application), for engineering 3D application it still rocks. Too bad my t430u has no hatch or connector for dock station.
Actually, my T430u is also still in use. And given the price of 2.5" SSDs, also I went for a half-tera many years ago. Still, this one is a rock solid piece of hardware.
Also, I mentioned having an USB3-dock. Well, as you mention, it really isn't a dock but this was the first generation of PCs doing what Apple did - no docking, just USB. Ok ok, two cables, USB3 and power cord. My new T570 needs only a single USB 3.1 (USB-C) for both dock and charge.