Hey all - Before I get into my question, I have read many of the previous threads in the forums concerning this topic. I have used the 'search' function, found several threads, and got some good information. However, I am still looking for some advice and guidance about this topic, so I decided to post my own thread (hope I don't offend anyone). Currently, I am using an older PC desktop computer (4 years old-ish). It is starting to give me some troubles and it becoming fairly slow (currently has 4GBs of RAM). However, 2 years ago, I got a great deal on a Samsung 22" monitor, keyboard and new mouse, so I am pleased with those. Anyway, I have owned several iPods over the years and love them and I used a Mac about 15+ years ago when I was in university (so I have some expereince with Mac). I have always wanted a Mac, but the price point was just out of my range (thus forcing me to get PC clones). Anyway, I am in the market for a new PC clone to replace my old box, but I am seriously thinking about going for a Mac. I just can't justify spending $1200 + tax on an iMac (which I would LOVE to have) as times are tough right now and I am on a budget and I already have a perfectly good monitor, keyboard, mouse. Instead of spending $300 on a new PC box, I am seriously thinking about the Mac Mini option. I have been doing my research, checking the forums, etc, but the more I read about it, the more nervous I get. I hear things about its issues running Lion and its speed with the 2GB of RAM causing a lot of users problems. With my case, I don't use my computer for a lot of big things (I have never done any video editing, I don't have Photoshop, etc), but I do use GIMP on occasion to mess around with some of my pictures. I mainly use my computer for my own personal use - I use Word, Excel, and internet functions. I tend to have a couple of programs open at the same time, so I am hoping that's not a problem (which I hear it could be). I am doing a lot of converting my entire DVD collection using handbrake so I can watch it on my iPods and I do like to back up everything to DVDs. I know the new Mac Mini doesn't have an optical drive, which is an issue for me, so I am guessing I would need to purchase an external one. I do have an external 1TB hard drive that I store a lot of stuff on, so thats good. But this will be my only computer at home, so "sharing" resources from a different computer is not an option. Anyway, based on my usage, do you think a Mac Mini would suit my needs? Or, by the time I buy a Mini and external hard drive, I might push my budget over the limit and its just as well stay with a cheap PC clone? Thoughts?