G'day all, Well I guess im just one of the many visitors here, who bother you folks for advice and suggestions on computers, but any help is much appreciated. My Predicament/Story: I have been an HP fan since my first computer purchase back in 1997. About two years ago, I purchased a near top of the line HP Pavilion zd8000 series notebook computer worth 3000$ with the train of thought "higher specs" meant "longer system life" (I had a bad feeling since HP bought out Compaq), but I shrugged it off since my previous systems were great, however soon after purchase I realized my notebook was a lemon series (tons of problems)... and a little research uncovered many people with the same issues I was experiencing, some near the range of 700$ to repair. After contacting an HP rep, apparently my warranty expired (and was a whole other battle on its own), they knew nothing about my, and many other people's problems. I have lost all faith in HP and mind you, many other pc brand computers. I used to be big on gaming, but now a days, Im far too busy and frankly not interested. Back when I was in high school, my school was "renting" apple notebook computers for each student... this was incredibly impressive and amazed me back then, but they were two years dated and heavily loaded down with security software. Many students complained that apple "stunk" etc etc and that they crashed a lot. I believe the systems crashed so much due to constant abuse, I mean students would throw their mac notebook down the stairs (I saw that happen once). As for me, I kept my notebook for three years without any problem (except for a cooling fan issue which was fixed promptly), until my school terminated the lease. Sad to say, but most of my pc knowledge stopped with the PIV chip, and I absolutely HATE windows vista.. its garbage. Currently, both financially and in the aspect of interest, I am leaning towards the 15" macbook pro line and comparing it to pc notebooks within the same category. I will mainly use my notebook for Adobe software and Microsoft Office. (Sorry for the long rambling but here are my questions) 1) In the past there was rumor that Apple used higher quality parts in their systems, but when they switched to Intel motherboards, they changed to generic parts. How sturdy are the instruments? I will be travelling and need a solid notebook with a very good battery life (something that can at least last 1 hour doing excel, word, and perhaps play a movie or adobe). 2) Im kind of iffy about purchasing something so expensive again in the notebook market, and am worried that it will be rubbish within a year. How long would you say your apple's lifespan is? 3) Windows pc's tend to slow down after a while of use due to a clogged bios. For intel mac users, how is your one year old mac holding up? Does it still run like new? 4) Apple offers two macbook pro 15" versions. In all honesty which would you suggest is the better deal? I dont know if paying 500$ more for something as miniscule as 0.2 ghz and a little boost in graphics is worth it. 5) Previously I mentioned briefly how I would use my notebook. Do you think a macbook pro is a good choice for me? Or even an apple at all? (after comparison, I havent found a notebook in the same class thats cheaper). Again (and in slightly more detail), I will be running the following: Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Powerpoint, etc) for scientific application Adobe Creative Suite Premium or Adobe Production Premium (personal use) Second Life Music (already use iTunes) Surfing the web (I moved away from Opera and use Safari beta for Windows) 6) Bringing up surfing the web, reminds me, I havent used Safari beta (windows) for very long but it has an awful bug. Usually, whenever I attempt to download something it freezes and crashes. Does this happen on the mac os? Perhaps this is just a beta bug. How secure is Safari?? 7) Are Macs really as secure as the hype claims they are? I mean are they less at risk against tracking cookies, trojans, keyloggers, etc? 8) I will not be purchasing Apple Care with my purchase of a macbook pro, but will sometime before my insurance expires (There is a store right in town, so phone service isnt needed after the 90 days expire). How helpful is Apple with computers? I had a 2nd gen ipod (and still do) and they promptly fixed it for a nominal fee; my general feeling was friendliness, quick service, and no bs. What happens when my Applecare expires? Say after 3 years, something goes wrong with my notebook... does Apple ignore you? 9) Im considering of purchasing a refurbished apple flat screen monitor at a later date and am wondering if its worth the price. Compared to other monitors out there, Apple is fairly pricey with its flat screens. 10) Have I worn you out with questions? The bottom line is that I want a notebook that will be sturdy, have a great batterylife, is secure, and will last more than three years (hopefully thats not asking for too much). Many thanks.