As I've posted before, I'm considering a new laptop purchase. I'm pretty sure at this point I've settled on a MBP. But I've yet to decide which one. Having been a PC guy for years, I'm accustomed to paying MUCH less for comparable system specs. While the quality is there with the Mac, which is what I'm after, I'm paying substantially more for the same specs. While I have and can spend the money to get a MBP equipped to my highest ideal specs (4GB RAM, 500GB HD), I struggle to come to terms with the idea of dropping $1,500 on a computer when I could easily get those specs in a sub $1,000 PC laptop or even a nice PC laptop at $1,000. That being said, I want a computer that's going to last, is high quality, and quite honestly, a Mac so I'm in the over $1,000 category. So now I'm asking myself whether I NEED to have 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, or if it's a nice to have and can make due with less. Since I'm spending so much, I would like to use this machine for several years instead of the usual 2 to 3 I seem to get out of a machine (my HP is on its way out after 2). When thinking long term, I start to consider going all out on specs so as not to get outdated. But then I'm up at $1,500 again. Is it better to settle for less now, and go with an external hard drive later and upgrade RAM later or get a bigger internal drive now? I will mainly use the laptop for music and videos (about 25 to 30GB now) and pictures (a LOT of space used on this one). I keep a lot of RAW files for photography. They eat up drive space. Generally, though, I plan to archive the RAW files and keep hi res jpgs for viewing in iPhoto. So theoretically I could get by just fine with an external drive for images and music. The other questions is would that be an advantage? Does a smaller drive equal a faster computer? Less eaten up space. yes I would backup anyway, but off computer files for music and movies and images means I don't lose them all if my computer crashes. I dunno. Thoughts? If its advantageous to go with less, or I could make due, I could save cash and get a basic MBP and upgrade specs later. Thoughts?