Well, I believe I've finally found a good macbook pro! After a series of more or less problematic 15" macbook pros and macbooks, I was offered an upgrade to a 17" by the Apple Store. The last week I've experienced what can only be called unbelievable customer service and I feel that it made up for the ridiculously poor experience I've had this year with Apple computers. In fact, I've never had such great service before in my life. My observations: - wow, it's huge! But still quite portable because it's so thin. Will take some time getting used to. - fit and finish is top notch throughout. I'm picky but I can't find a single fit and finish flaw on it. The display shuts perfectly with no warp, all plastic and metal areas are tight and the keyboard seems even too! Update: the one thing I would comment on is the way the back of the screen bezel flexes when I push on it or grap the computer. It's not surprising given how large the surface is, but it would have felt more reassuring if Apple had put something underneath to stabilize it all so that there was no flex. As a result, the computer feels less solid than the more compact mbps. I guess the size itself makes the thing feel less sturdy and nothing can be done about that. I wouldn't want to add anything that adds to the weight or size. Given how huge the screen is, it's surprisingly portable and light. - The display does not slam shut. When it gets to around 20 degrees, there is a very noticeable resistance that requires me to push a little harder to get it shut. Other than that, I really like the silky smooth display hinge on this on this one. Ah, I just tried tipping it toward me! And yes, it does 'fall' and hit my hands. Ok, so that is a weakness and we'll see if it bother me in practice. The only time I can imagine that it would is if I use it in bed when laying down. However, when I adjust the display when the computer is on a desk or my lap it does stay put. - Sound. The sound output on this is really great. significantly better than any other laptop I've had. The pismo was pretty great too, but this one has very rich sounds. - DISPLAY. Ok, the bad first: the display IS brighter on the right side compared to the left. It's not too bad, but it's definitely there and it's something that I'd like to fix before the warranty runs out. It's barely noticeable though. The GOOD news: this is a significant improvement over the 15" I had. it's not quite as bright (I don't like the 15" brightness because it is largely a result of the brightness filter)but it's vertical and horizontal viewing angles are better, whites are white, there is no grain, no shimmer (it's matte version - happy to be back) and the quality when viewed straight on seems very similar to my cinema display in terms of color, contrast, brightness. I had one 15" that was pretty good in this regard but it did have grain and that weird shimmer. Besides the slightly brighter right side, this display is simply beautiful. -Quiet and cool. I ran it quite intensively last night and except for underneath, wher it got toasty, it remained cool and completely comfortable. The latest crop of 15" are pretty cool too, but I guess the larger form factor gives these a slight edge in this department. Heard some fans at one point, but not loud at all. I also feel the DVD drive is quieter. -Wireless reception seems similar to the 15" - pretty good, but still not as good as the macbook. To summarize, I'm excited! I'm not used to the size yet, but this is a beautiful, powerful computer that can handle anything I throw at it. I might get the display replaced in the future, but even that is not in any way urgent. Loving it. Here are a few picrtures I took. It's hard to see, but the picture with the two webpages shows how the left side is slightly darker. The white background shows a little, but not really.