What checkable attributes of computers models or manufactures have historically and should continue to correlated with with the reliability (low tendency to require maintenance work relating to hardware and drives drivers) of the systems in question? Of particular interest are attributes that are informative for low cost systems.
Note: I'm Not asking for a shopping or buying recommendation for a specific machine or brand. I'm asking for advice on what sort of things I should be looking at and what questions I should be asking to make my own evaluation. In short; if it wasn't good advice last year or won't be the year after next, it's not an answer to the question I'm trying to ask.
I will down vote any answer that list a specific brand or model (other than in the contexts like "Look for high F factors, e.g. the FooBar-275 has F=42 and that is considered good").