I've spent the past few weeks obsessing over my planned upgrade from my early 2008 Penryn 15" Macbook Pro to my next machine. Ultimately, I decided on a 15" Retina Macbook Pro (2.3GHZ, 16gb, 256SSD). I'm a self-admitted gear-nut. Whether we're talking about a car, a camera, a TV, a coffee maker, or new bed sheets; I enjoy the ritual of doing my research and arriving at what I consider to be the absolute best purchase decision. I want to share my experience and thoughts as they relate to this purchase. My usage patterns would fall under moderate power user. I enjoy photography and use Lightroom and CS6 for RAW photo processing. I'm a commercial construction consultant and this is my primary machine, so I'm frequently digging into to very large PDF construction plans. I also dabble in marketing and digital media consulting and find myself creating the occasional small business website (nearly exclusively wordpress) and marketing material (brochures, business cards, letterhead, etc..). My initial plan was to purchase a mid-2012 cMBP because I felt it was the best overall option. Further research and several visits to the Apple store changed my mind. If I was going to upgrade, the only option for me was the 15" Retina. The prospect of buying a current gen 15" Retina caused a good amount of anxiety for me. My research indicated some potentially alarming issues; namely UI lag and image retention. If you spend any time on this forum or others, you know what I'm talking about and you've likely seen the endless commentary on it. Ultimately, I wound up buying my rMBP on ebay. It was a custom built 2.3/16GB/256 week 48 production model (mid november). It was unopened (still shrink-wrapped in original box) and came with applecare. UI lag and image retention were my two major concerns. Here are my thoughts after using the computer for several days: Image Retention This was my biggest concern. Of the 4 15" Retina's in my local apple store, this terminal command identified 3 of them as LG displays. Using this test All 3 LG displays demonstrated very noticeable Image retention after having the checkerboard up on the display for 1 minute, 30 seconds. The samsung display did not have any noticeable image retention. Using this apple serial number lookup tool I was able to see that all 3 LG Retinas with image retention were early model production, with all three machines being manufactured in June or July. The rMBP with a Samsung display was manufactured in August. Research on my part seems to indicate that the newer production date LG panels may be working fine now. Furthermore, my conversations with the apple store manager as well as an Apple Online Store Executive Relations employee I spoke to left me confident that if I had IR issues, they would be addressed to my satisfaction. Ultimately, this was a non-issue for me. My week 48 BTO rMBP wound up having a Samsung screen. This was a big relief to me. 2.) User Interface Lag The UI lag issue also had me concerned; though not as much as the IR issue. I was able to compare a 15" rMBP right next to a 15" cMBP in my local apple store. I tested scroll performance in safari on Facebook and TheVerge.com. I also tested OS animation performance by corner-resizing a blank Safari window with the mouse. I confirmed both machines were running OSx 10.8.2 and the latest version (6.0.2) of Safari. The bottom line is there was minor--but still noticeable--lag present on the retina macbook pro when compared to the cMBP. The lag was minor enough that I was willing to move forward with the purchase. Furthermore, while I'm no engineer; I do believe the issue is a software issue, not a hardware issue. This gives me hope that the issue will eventually be improved to the point of being a non-issue(perhaps with the upcoming 10.8.3 update). As it stands right now, I do not feel the UI lag is a serious issue of concern. In fact, I don't believe I would have noticed any UI lag had I not been doing a direct, heads-up comparison of the two models.. Taking into consideration the other benefits of the retina vs classic MBP, barely noticeable UI lag is a compromise that I am personally willing to make. It is also worth noting that when hooked up to my Dell 24" IPS (U2412) display at native resolution of 1920x1200 there is absolutely no UI lag on the external display. The culprit is the Retina's scaling algorithm. While the possibility of a permanent hardware inadequacy is not ruled out, the fact that there has already been significant improvement in the issue with the release of 10.8.2 combined with the promising reports from the latest nightly builds of webkit leave me very confident that the issue will continue to improve. And it won't take much improvement for the issue to disappear completely. Conclusion I'm very pleased with my purchase. I am in a position where I need a new machine today. Not this summer when the next revision is rumored to be. I am confident I've made the best decision possible, and I am content. Particularly as I suspect Haswell will be more of an incremental--at least for the 15" model--then an evolutionary update. That's all I've got. I hope this post may be helpful to others in the same position I was in--ready to upgrade, but anxious over all the bad press they've seen on the internet. In my case, I'd happily make the purchase again.