It is no secret I don't like the screen, but I don't like glossy screen in general, and had hoped Lenovo would have used a relatively sane level of glossiness. It is very glossy, but it looks pretty as long as you don't have to use it.
The touchpad is pretty good hardware-wise, it is just too big, and they tried to compensate for the problems with its size through software. I actually though it was broken until I found out it worked perfectly accurate in Linux. What they have done is, in trying to fix the problem of users unintentionally brushing against the touchpad while typing, they have made the driver try to detect what it thinks is accidental input. In short this means the touchpad works perfectly for slow, smooth movements, but if you are impatient or a fast touch-pad user, it will detect the short fast movements as noise, and simply _not_ move the cursor. It leads several WTF moments when your increasing frustration leads you to try more and more erratic movement patterns on the touchpad, and it simply ignores your input until you slow down or apply more pressure. It can be disabled though, it just a really surprising default setting.
I am currently considering the E520 or T420 instead. Compared to the E420s, the E520 has a larger screen (which I don't actually want, though) with same bottom-end resolution, but has the option of anti-glare, and apparently has replaceable batteries (very hard to tell on lenovos site). Interestingly a E520 only costs slightly more than half of what an otherwise identical E420s does. A T420 is the traditional thinkpad quality, and is available with screens of a decent quality, and can be configured as you like. A T420 is more expensive though, especially with a screen that isn't sharing the same bottom-end resolution as the Edge series does. For me the T420 is ruled out though as I want a discrete graphics processor, and has decided under no circumstances to get one from the same company that made the faulty one that fried my last laptop.
Replacing my old R61 with a 1600x1050 screen is surprisingly hard, it was very cheap machine 4 years ago, but now I have to pay more than twice as much to get a screen of a similar resolution.