OK, this will probably be long but I would love some long time users input. Background: So, I recently got the 13"MBP 2.26 standard config. I have a older Pentium 4 Dell XPS desktop with a 500GB WD drive sitting in my tiny office. My girlfriend uses an old PowerBook as her daily and the Dell really never gets used anymore. She is a textile designer and uses Illustrator as her main program of choice. I am not a power user and mainly use Office/Keynote. At work she uses a Dual 2Ghz PowerPC G5 with 1 GB of RAM. She finds its speed to be OK. Now the questions: She might work more from home and she was thinking about a 24" iMac entry level. With my discount thats 1400.00. I was thinking of buying a base mini and upgrading it myself with a 500GB drive and at least 2 GB Ram or buying Ram for my MBP and putting the 2 in the mini (I guess I should give the mini more- right?) I was then thinking of this monitor: the HP w2558hc 25.5-inch Vivid Color Full HD Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor: http://www.shopping.hp.com/product/display/display/1/storefronts/FF621AA%23ABA. The price is 449 and I like the fact that if I want more screen real estate, I can hook my Macbook up to it. I was also thinking a Dell Ultrasharp but I like the look of that monitor to fit the look of Apples current lineup (Lame- I know). Questions: 1) Do you think a base mini with the upgrades will be powerful enough for Illustrator? She won't be using it daily. 2) Is that monitor OK? We don't need the top of the line color matching because she mainly uses horrible monitors at work and works around it but something that is decent. 3) Should I just suck it up and get the iMac because in the end- cost won't be too far different but I won't be able to hook up my computer to a larger monitor but not really needed I guess if I have an iMac. 4) Can I use the mini or an iMac as a place to have my laptop backup using time capsule? 5) Can I take out that 500GB drive that is in a PC on windows, put it in an enclosure, and use that as a backup drive for time capsule and save my files from there? 6) Take the HDD, reformat it to Leopard, use it as a external on my network and keep the stock drive in the mini? I can't decide- what do you guys think? Thanks and please no negative comments.