Im a full time grad student who only owns a laptop (though I do have access to several antiquated desktops at school). I am considering a Mac laptop as a replacement for my current Acer Travelmate TC110. Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about Macs, having never owned one. Ive been leaning towards the midrange MacPro (2.4 GHz standard configuration), just because it seems like that would probably handle multiple applications easily (not to mention the option for the matte screen in the Pro line is niceI worry that a very pretty yet glossy screen plus data entry and analysis might equal a very big headache). However, is that configuration overkill? Since I have an embarrassingly limited knowledge of computers, I am second guessing my assessment. Specifically, my questions for Mac veterans are: (1) Which is likely best for my needs: Macbook or MacPro (and if the latter, which configuration is best or would any Pro configuration be OK)? (2) Has anyone had problems using Parallels, especially as it concerns running statistical software and/or OneNote (I have a lot of Windows software that I cant afford to replace, so Im expecting to rely heavily on Parallels)? (3) On a slightly more random note that exposes my limited computer knowledge, would there be a compatibility issue with doing backup for a new Mac laptop on an older Western Digital external HD? As background, most of my laptop usage falls into one of three categories: (1) general Office 2007 suite use (Excel, Powerpoint, Word, and OneNote), (2) statistical software and software related to developing stimulus materials for social science research (ie., SPSS, MPlus, and, to a lesser extent, SAS; DirectRT; Photoshop; also, a variety of other minor programs that I expect to use with Parallels for audioediting), and (3) general internet usage (also Westlaw, LexisNexis). I use my laptop primarily for schoolwork and generally have at least four applications open at once. I do listen to itunes and surf the internet, but Ive never watched a DVD on my laptop, nor I do play video games on it. I am hoping to purchase a laptop that can get me through my graduation in 2011, if possible. The actual purchase will probably be made by my parents, so cost, although still a concern, is less pressing a concern than were I purchasing the computer myself. Sorry for the lengthy post, but I wanted to make sure I included all the information that might be relevant to potential advice givers. Thanks in advance for the help!