Hello there! I am new to the Mac scene and MacRumors, and I have a bit of a problem. I am heading off to college this coming fall and I need a laptop. As we all know, Vista sucks and comes with any windows computer, so I have decided to go to the Mac side. After looking at my options, I realized that a MacBook Pro is absolutely what I want. I like the 17" screen and 4 GB of RAM. Processor really doesn't matter as .2 GHz improvement isn't worth $200 in my opinion. So here's the problem, price. I have more than enough money to buy the computer from Apple with a bit to spare, but $3500 (including student discount) is still a bit absurd for a laptop. I also plan on purchasing Parallels and Windows XP (Parallels offers a copy feature from another computer, but I don't think it copies the OS). This brings my total up to around $3700 I've looked all throughout the forums here and on various other sources and found the exact laptop I am wanting for just under $3000. It is unopened box and supposedly is from the latest batch of MacBook Pro's from Apple (I assume that means it is still under warranty, but I need to verify). This is at least slightly more reasonable than Apple's price. Now the biggest problem of all is how to convince my parents to let me purchase the laptop. The biggest problems they have with it are the price and the fact that so many computers are stolen at a college campus, so I need a way to prove it's worth and come up with a way to make sure it is secure. Does anyone have any tips or pointers to help me convince them? A cheaper price for the computer would also be helpful (no eBay - I can't be certain when paypal can only cover up to $2000 in case of a problem). Should I go down a screen size? Should I settle with only 2 GB of RAM? I need to know if they are worth the money.