I keep going in circles on what to get. I am a traditional artist. I however am currently disabled. So my "needs" aren't necessarily any system in particular, since at best I will be experimenting and possibly doing side work with my business partner, who would now be more of my employer in a him throwing me a bone sense. In the hope that even at a literal snails pace ,maybe I can somehow earn a living eventually that way. Anyway. I want a laptop. I have had hseveral forum members suggest an iMac, and While the screen is sweet. When I got my laptop, I totally abandoned my desktop and its 19" screen. Now granted its no 24" imac. But I want to be able to draw in the recliner if I feel like it. I am currently leaning toward 3 units. 1 is a used craigslist blacbook Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz 120GB Hard Disk Microsoft Office 2008 for $500 the biggest drawback is its 2 and a half hours away, to drive. I suppose I could keep waiting on a more local one, to show up, but for comaprisons sake lets go with it (I might consider white but only at 3-400 or less) I am a bit unsure is this a fair price. I have unfortunately discovered the premium even used macs seem to command hence my reasoning that 5-600 max is all I would even considered on used given a base aluminum can potentially be had for $900 (used or 11ish refurbish) which brings me to my next suitor the base or 2.4 aluminum macbook. I really liked this and the 13 incher but after finally visiting the apple store in Atlanta it "shrunk" lol. my current screen is 14.1 so I am hoping if I go this route it wont be too much of a back step. and finally the macbook pro, which other than price is what I want. I have seen them on craigslist advertising at 1500, ebay and refurbed for 16-1700. I also want to throw in the curve ball I got to thinking, and looking at the prices, and I realize thats if I can get one at or near these prices, but I thought about going with the used macbook, or base aluminum, and then if and when money (or my eyes squinting) gets to the point of me affording it, just getting a refurb Imac for 1200. and having both. considering that it is near the price of one pro, at standard pricing. Or if I should just bite the bullet and get the pro laptop and be done with it ,and possibly use a hdtv screen as an external monitor at a later date. I use my laptop for web surfing. Gaming would be nice, but I am leaning more towards a console as the controls are more comfortable. each one seems to be an incremental step so to speak. So far I have noticed the main edge the 15 has is when looking at some of our pieces on deviant art the off white tones we missed on pc show up when you look at the monitor at an angle. Other than that, weight the pci slot for an sd card reader and I would prefer a larger screen, I am not sure I really "need" the pro. The build quality on the alubook is a big seller, I would easily pay the extra 300 if I were paying straight retail just to get it above the 999 whitebook. If for nothing else resale alone. Which brings me back to the $500 blacbook. how reliable is buying used like this? are their things that I as a should look for and check before shelling out the dough? And ultimately which would end up being the best bang for my buck including potential future resale. I don't mind refurbs especially from apple, I also wonder if I could get additional student discount on top of the refurb discount, but I figure not. And if these things are reliable used, and that would be my best deal for the long run I might just get the blacbook , and later on upgrade or just add the imac, or an external monitor if screen real estate becomes an issue.