I am a PhD student as well as a lecturer traveling back and forth between two different cities quite often (1.5 hr commute via train & bus). I've been using an Asus Eeepc for on-the-go commuting and when staying in one city because when I bought it about the time the first Air came out because I needed something portable but cheap. At that time I was using and still have in use an iMac G5. Then it started acting up and about that time the updated mini released (not the latest update) and I was lucky to catch the Taiwan Apple On-Line store goof up with pricing (google if you are not familiar with it) and got a mac mini snow leopard server maxed out for less than $600US. The mini has been a great replacement for my dying G5 but this Eeepc is driving crazy. I need a portable machine but because I'm staying more and more in one city than the other and space is tight, it would be better for me to get a notebook to carry with me. At first I was in love with the Air but even with the larger number of pixels I cannot justify spending the money knowing that I can get a much more powerful MacBook Pro. Plus I've been told by my significant other that as a combined birthday and anniversary present I am getting a MacBook Pro 13". This excites me but I'm just wondering...Is it enough? (Not enough of a gift!! ha it's more than enough!) It's just that when I bought my G5 I maxed it out to the highest specs I could get, the same with the mini. Now with this machine since it's a gift, I can't really decide but I can of course throw in a little extra money of my own for something a little speedier. I just need to try to justify that there will be a noticeable difference in performance for me. Now my questions: Is it worth my paying for the speed bump to make this 2.3Ghz i5 13" a 2.7Ghz i7 13" or would it be better for me to just jump to the 15" 2.0 quad core i7 or not spend any extra money at all? Would the AMD Radeon HD 6490M with 256MB GDDR5 knock my socks off in comparison to the Intel HD Graphics 3000?