I wanted a matte screen, so I bought a used 15" penryn 2.5, 500 mb graphics, 4gb RAM for $1200 and put a 500gb drive in it. Unlike the present unibody 15" machines, it has an expresscard slot and a firewire 400 (along with 800) port. As I see it, my machine is in many respects as good as or better than a new MBP. I don't like the hd antiglare display (which, of course, costs extra), I find the older keyboard better, and I like the fact that I can replace the battery whenever I need to even though it may not last as long as the newer Macs. As for speed, that is largely restricted by the 2.5" hard drive, so in real life I doubt there's much difference between my MBP and the newest i7's. Another problem with the new MBP's: it costs a small fortune to upgrade the RAM from 4gb (of course, that is true with my Penryn also). The only significant advantage I see to the new machines is that their unibody construction seems more solid. But in other respects, I like the machine I have better. (One other thing: my Penryn does not have a minidisplay port, which could be important if you use the Apple ACD). Getting a used machine does sometimes have issues -- after 4 months, I discovered its mike wasn't working. I paid $30 or so (Powerbookmedic), got a new speaker assembly, installed it in an hour and it all works perfectly. The point of this: Macs can last a long long time if you take care of them. Over the past 2 years, the improvements to the MBP have been incremental and, I think, sometimes negative. You can save money and get as good (or better) MBP by getting one used. But you do have to know how to take them apart and fix them -- which isn't really very hard.