Above all, the most important conclusion to take with you from this report is the fact that laptop brand does make a difference when it comes to laptop reliability. Several of the brands which were on the bottom of the list - Acer, Gateway and HP - are brands that often offer laptops with very low prices relative to their hardware. This seems to work in terms of sales, because HP and Acer are the number 1 and number 2 computer vendors in the world (and remember, Gateway is also a subsidiary of Acer). Before you leap at a great deal, consider how long you need your laptop to last. If you want it to last three years or more, you may want to go for a slightly more expensive ASUS, Toshiba or Sony laptop instead.
Another observation which can be made from this report is one that Squaretrade probably has no problems with - laptops are not as reliable as other consumer electronics. Does that mean that you should purchase a protection plan on your laptop? Personally, I say no, it doesn't. While laptop reliability ratings are poor, it is still unlikely that your laptop will fail - as long as you purchase from a reliable brand.
Finally, it can be argued that netbooks are less reliable than laptops. This is not surprising when you consider how inexpensive netbooks are. Of course, despite the increased chance of failure, netbooks are probably not worth worrying about. After all, netbooks are extremely cheap, and you'll probably replace one within two or three years anyway.