Greetings all, I'm a lifelong PC owner, and have been hemming and hawing the last few years about going Mac. I've finally made the decision AND the stars are aligned - so I'm ready to go! I know there are multiple threads on topics just like these daily, and I have read through as many of them as I can. However, I couldn't find a thread which detailed advice for my specific needs. If money were no object, I'd dive right in without too much concern - but I need to choose the best solution for me because I won't be able to get another Mac for a while. I'd greatly appreciate your guidance and advice to help me choose the most appropriate Mac. I am choosing between the iMac, the MacBook and the Mac Mini. I want to be as cost-effective as possible, but that doesn't mean that I feel I need to skimp on everything. I live in the Boston area and have Apple stores available, but I have no problem with purchasing refurbished online for a better deal. I am really excited to be on the cusp of my first Mac because I think for the first time, I will have a computer that will make it simple and downright enjoyable to be creative. Here are the things I want my Mac for: basic internet browsing, forums, multimedia, etc. very basic officey productivity - word processing, a speadsheet program to organize lists/charts of nominal data (ie - no math). I don't need MS Office, but I do want to be able to save documents in MSOffice format so I can open and share them with PC users when necessary. now the fun stuff! making music as a hobbyist - starting off with Garageband, and having the option and capability to upgrade to LogicExpress in the future if I so want/choose. This will be only for home recording use of bass, guitar and vocals/mics. I would be doing 1 track at a time the vast majority of the time. I don't have any of the necessary recording interface hardware yet - I plan to make these purchases after I get a computer. I am not a pro, and I don't need to have 'the top of the line' stuff. I just need stuff that will work well and not create big annoyances, headaches or have big gaps in effectiveness. iTunes with a large library of music. I currently have 90gig of music, and a good amount of it is lossless. very basic photo editing and perhaps photoshop in the future any sort of creative artistic program that I can use to be creative visually. I'm a total hack and have never done this sort of thing before, but would love to dive in and start trying my hand at doing creative gig fliers for my band. I currently have the following: Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 731B - 17 in, flat panel computer monitor. Its a few years old, but works fine. I imagine this might be a candidate for use with MacMini or as a 2nd/dual monitor for the iMac or MacBook? Western Digital Elements 1TB Black External Hard Drive - I currently am using this to hold all of my iTunes music and backup of my documents/files. Only ~100gig used thusfar. A Microsoft optical mouse that I really like - has 5 buttons I think - two top, two side, and the rolling/tracking/scrolling wheel which also functions as a button. Some generic Microsoft keyboard. I believe that the iMac might end up being the biggest bang for buck, the Mac Mini would be the cheapest (but would have to void the warranty to install a larger harddrive and such), and the Macbook would give me the most portability. That said, I don't absolutely need the portability of the macbook. Whatever I choose, its going to be my main computer. If I chose the Macbook, I think I would want/need to try to setup some way to have a 'workstation' for use at home, because when I'm not using its portability, I want to be able to enjoy the interface/use of a desktop - ie, larger screen, mouse, keyboard, etc. Thus, I would be using dual monitor and such. Anyhow - I'll shutup and let you knowledgeable folks give me guidance - much appreciated!