Alright, I've scoured these boards for weeks trying to figure out the best configuration for me. Every time I do, if I spend enough time, I end up spending multiple thousands of dollars and getting things I don't really want! I know that sometimes I get caught up in higher specs, but I really want this computer to last. I currently own a mid 2007 20" iMac 2.4 C2D with 4 GB ram and 320 gig hdd. It's getting to the point where trying to copy a cell in excel results in a beachball for 15 seconds. This is the year that I am upgrading, and I'm willing to drop up to $3,000 for the perfect system. My number 1 goal is to get a computer that will last me for the next 6 years as this one has. But I don't want to spend $3k just because I can. I run a lot of office (word, excel, powerpoint), handbrake fairly often, and internet stuff. I don't really do photo editing, although these boards inspire me every once in a while. I do work at my computer for a full day's work, so I'd like to have a screen that is better (sharper) than my current iMac's. I don't care about color reproduction, but that seems to go hand-in-hand with high resolution screens. I also watch movies and tv shows on it. I'm not overly concerned about mobility as I have survived with this desktop for quite a while. I have an iPad if I go the desktop route again. But I do appreciate the benefit of not having to go into my office anytime my wife asks me about something on the computer. Here's my problem: None of the Apple computers offer everything! Options: Mini with external display: Slower CPU, only 1 Thunderbolt, so limited to 1 high res monitor. Only the Dell U2713 has USB 3.0 right now. Thunderbolt display would have to wait until the refresh to get USB 3.0. USB 3.0 is a big one to me for future proofing. Except the TBD is also $300 more than the comparable Dell. I do like how easy it is to swap out the SSD and RAM. That's a big plus for cost savings, but again at the expense of the slower CPU. iMac: If you want a machine that will last, you basically have to get the most expensive 27" with 1 gb video card. You also have to upgrade to a fusion or ssd through Apple which is crazy expensive. I know that the screen can be removed, but I'm the kind of guy that ends up with extra screws after taking something apart, and I don't want to immediately destroy the computer that I want to last me a while. On top of all that, it's going to cost about $2,500 minimum such a setup. Pro's are that you get a VERY fast CPU and plenty of current I/O. macbook pro 15: Smaller screen. The high-res is pretty nice, and what I would want to spring for if I went this route. Perhaps with an external monitor. But it is a bigger computer, and being bigger, I may not want to move it around. If that's the cast, I may as well go for a desktop option. Pro's are that it's easy to upgrade. If I get a fast macbook pro, it will end up costing similar to a retina which already has higher RAM and SSD, but this wouldn't have those perks. Retina 15: Expensive with a monitor that I would not need. I know you can't upgrade these, but I don't really see it as much of a problem because it is essentially what I would have upgraded the cMBP to in the first place. macbook pro 13: underpowered vs the 15. dual core instead of quad. I may not use the cpu that much, but 5-6 years from now, who knows. macbook pro retina: same as the cMBP 13 with a touch of being expensive. Macbook air: A very intriguing option, but has a slower CPU like the MBP 13. With 8 gig of RAM and 256 HDD, it gets up to the MBP cost range as well. I feel like I'm going crazy trying to figure out which route to take. I was planning on the mini for a long time. Then I thought, well the iMac has all the I/O built in plus really fast processors, so that would be nice, but it just pushed my cost up $800 (including upgrades for each machine, aftermarket for the mini). Then I consider the notebooks, but every time I do, I eventually find myself looking at the 15 rMBP 2.6 which will set me back around $2,500 without a nice big monitor. In a perfect world, what I would love would be a 13" air or MBP that has the power of the 15" 2.6 quad, and then slap the TBD on there for a real screen when I'm at my desk. At this point I'm open to any and all advice. Thanks for reading my entire rant!