Thinkpads aren't a meme!
I recently picked myself up a thinkpad 420p for around 250 and it has been wonderful. These laptops are robust, got good battery life (4 hrs with extended battery), have great function keys, come with a great alternative to the trackpad (the gift of science that is the laptop nipple), and has amazing GNU/Linux support out of the box. No complaints after a couple days of use. I got Devuan installed and was on my way to customizing. If you want to pick a thinkpad up I would suggest getting one used and consulting The /g/ wiki's page on thinkpads for a generally good guide on what to get. No complaints from me so far so I can do nothing but recommend!