*sighs* So many toys so little money. My current vehicle is a 2002 Mercury Cougar XR edition with every feature that was available for the car at the time. As much as I've enjoyed owning the car the thing isn't exactly fuel efficient, to say the least. I've looked into various replacement cars but the mileage on most of them still sucks rocks. I've also look at VW's diesels. However what with me living and Minnesota and the amount of TLC that is needed to keep a diesel going in the cold I've all but discounted VW. (when I say cold I'm talking 10*-15* below.) That leads me to the new crop of hybrid electrics. Specifically the Insight and the Prius. (The civic is a little to bland for my tastes.) I got a chance to test drive the Insight. Decent enough car but the "personality" for lack of a better term, felt a little bland. Enter Prius. (Yes we will get to the PowerBook tie-in soon enough.) I got a chance to test drive one on Sunday and all I can say is MY GOD! I want one. The problem? The price of the model I'm looking at is $25,000. I can't handle 25,000 unless I get a fair trade-in on my cougar. Kelly's Blue Book estimates that my kitty is worth about $12,000 right now. Here is the problem as it stands. I still have about $11,000 on the car to pay off. Right now I'm at the halfway point in payments. A trade-in or even a carsoup sale right now would give me next to nothing because of this. Again I need a major down payment on a Prius to handle the monthly charges. That really leaves me with one option. Pay off the cougar as fast as possible (Time being of the essence due to depreciation on the value of the car.) to get a full trade-in on the car. Here is where the dilemma starts. I was psyched to get a new 17" PowerBook this year. I already have 3 grand saved up. This causes a problem because I can either get a PowerBook and lose the possibility of taking a large bite out of that $11,000 or I can bite the bullet and put that 3 grand towards my car payment, decrease the remaining amount, get closer to my goal, and possibly get more back on my car in the trade-in. I guess what it boils down to is I'm asking what you guys think. Take the sure deal and get the PowerBook or aim for the big prize and go for the Prius? Both are wants. I don't NEED a PowerBook and I don't NEED a Prius so in the end it is somewhat of a coin toss. Thoughts? PS- I love the fact that the Prius doesn't have a key yo start the car. You hit the POWER button. As long as you have the RF key fob on you, you don't need any keys. Coolness incarnate.