I have used Dell for the last 4 years and presently using a Toshiba. See my specs below.
Both are very good and give a good service.
Your specs are quite reasonable for a mid range laptop.
Any branded laptop is good for you. Shop around and you will find a good bargain.
About Sony formatting problems, I am hearing it for the first time. You should find drivers
on Sony website. Otherwise you can always format your system with ATA mode instead of AHCI mode which can be set in BIOS. With this setting the system will be slightly slow compared to AHCI mode.