Bunnie Huang has a project that he put on kickstarter for an open source laptop computer called Novena. One Kickstarter goal was some beautiful laminated cases.
From Make Magazine.
This case was made for the twelve top Kickstarter contributors.
More about Novena here.
Ben Heck builds a Novena.
Now to answer the question as to why you would want to build your own laptop even if it is more expensive, well there’s the satisfaction of building something for yourself. There’s also the development of the skill of being able to get under the hood without worrying if it’s going to break or not. I’ve been antsy about tearing my current computer apart because it is a laptop. The fact is that at some point I will because it needs memory. If I had built a Novena I would have don it already because I knew what I was getting into. And anyway, building stuff is fun.