New member here! Looking to upgrade from my 2008 era Unibody 13" Macbook (2Ghz Intel Core2 Duo, 8GB RAM, Mac OS 10.6.8). I'm a semi-pro photographer but not really into video. Since upgrading to a camera capable of producing 20+MP files, Lightroom 4 has gotten fairly sluggish, especially with a few other applications open. I use an external matte monitor to edit when at home (I am often on the road, however). I've been out of the Mac tech loop for awhile, so I've had to really sink in some time to research the offerings over the last few years. The times, they are a changin'. My budget is $2k at the very max. Ideally, I would want something cheaper. I'd like to move up to a 15" display. Though I want portability, weight is not a huge concern. I also love the Unibody design. I started looking at the 15" Retina models and was absolutely infuriated that Apple has removed the ability to change the RAM, hard drive and battery. I had a RAM module crap out on me last year in my Macbook and it was a $30 DIY fix. Not so with these new models. Looking at these options for portability: 1. Mid 2012 2.3/2.6Ghz i7 Quad Core 15" Macbook Pro refurbished or used. Glossy display. ($1500-$2000) 2. Mid 2012 Refurb Retina 2.6Ghz i7 Quad Core 15" w/16GB RAM. More expensive than I'd like and non replaceable components. Because of this, I'd want to max the computer out from Apple, which is much more expensive than buying third party upgrades. (~$2100) 3. Continue using my current Macbook for portability and add a 2.6Ghz Mac Mini to use with my current external display. I could also take the savings to buy a better display ($1200 for computer, $500+ for monitor). 4. I could upgrade to a better 13" model instead to save some $$. The 13" models are still available new w/o Retina. I guess the question is....should I be as concerned as I am about unfixable computers? Or should I just buy Applecare instead anything bad happens? I do love the retina displays. It's a freakin' travesty that Apple doesn't make a Retina Unibody MBP. That would be my perfect machine!