it's the hardest time of the year -- upgrade season. just thought i'd vent as this laptop mocks me, my burning thighs a constant reminder of how dangerous it is to be an Apple fan. - Mid-April 2009: I, a relatively-broke college student gather enough cash through hardwork and odd jobs and high-interest loans to get a 15 inch Macbook Pro with maxed-out specs. That computer is the 2.66 ghz C2D 5,1. I'm unaware of apple tax at the time, so I foolishly pay out the *** for Apple upgrades for ram (4 GB, highest option at the time) and a 320 gig/7200 rpm. The only screen option is glossy, which I never hate, but would deal with for all the raw power. And plunked down on Applecare, too, to protect my investment. - May 2009: Didn't have internet for two weeks, so I was late hearing about the upgrade to the Penryn processors. And the triple battery life. And the optional matte screen. I called Apple as soon as I did find out in hopes of a rebate, and a very polite if uncreative Apple rep told me I was literally a week too late to qualify for any sort of exchange or partial refund. - Spend the summer using the heck out of it, mainly on music and video production and conversion. Snow Leopard is announced, and I'm too afraid to upgrade because it might break things. - April 2010: I splash a small amount of root beer on my keyboard. No real damage, besides some temporarily sticky keys and the 1/5 backlight death. But, $300 warranty voided. - August 2010, trackpad stops working. November, CDs refused to ejects. and I'm constantly fight to maintain 15 of free space on my internal hd, and taxing my one source of back up, a 1 tb WD MyBook. - And now -- I need to upgrade my internal HD capacity, but can't find a reliable drive to hunker down on (around 150 for the drive and enclosure). Definitely need a ram upgrade, another $100 that might just make the bottleneck of the C2D more painful. I've learned to touch-to-tap on the trackpad, but it's made music software too tricky to use. The optical drive I might as well ditch for a SSD to help speed things up, but that's at least another 200. - So now I save, to by this summer/fall, make my heartbreakingly expensive machine actually feel powerful again. I was supposed to rule the world with this thing, now I can't even watch a (3.5 hr handbrake rip!) of a DVD in one window with Safari and iTunes idle in the background, let alone make my own movies, websites and music without quitting everything and letting my comp cool down. I'm still a high end apple laptop fanboy, and it just hurts my heart and my wallet have been so betrayed by Apple. But it is what it is, and could be worse. If you read all that, or any of it at all, thank you. If you have similar stories of "paying for the best" only to be dealing with a subpar machine months later, do share. It'll make us all feel better about how many eggs with stuff in out individual baskets.