I've been looking at this site for some time. I've always wanted a mac, but I found them on the pricey side. I have an HP 17" laptop which is a decent computer until recently when hp asked me to upgrade my bios which made it go bonkers. Plus I have not been happy with vista. Everything is slow, and while the graphics are decent, it just doesn't function as well as when I had XP. Since my computer isn't registering the ram that's installed, Fry's shipped it off for 4-6. They gave me a free rental which is a cute 13" macbook. I love it. It's light, and when I close it, it's like carrying one of my textbooks. I love babysitting it. I never thought that I would like a 13" laptop, but it's actually nice sitting in bed typing. Babysitting the mac makes me want to buy one. I just don't know which to get. I love the iMac, but since I've gotten a laptop, I like having the mobility of sitting with it on the couch, or going to school with it. The mbp is awesome, but it's very pricey. However, I am thinking about being a media production major, although I hear the jobs are very hard to come by. While reading this forum though I've discovered a lot of problems with the macbook and the macbook pro casings. They say that the MBP's aluminum dents easily, and the MB has cases that crack. I saw a whole forum about people who are having problems with that. Deciding on what I want is difficult, because the mbp is probably a 1000 more, and the only difference is the case, screen size, and the video card. Plus, I hear that it's not as easy to upgrade the ram (which I would do if I got a mac) as the macbook. I haven't seen any setups with a 24" screen with a macbook. I don't even know what a good eternal monitor would be. On apple's website, it says that the resolution can be maxed out higher on an external. Does that slow the computer down, an will it look decent? Also, if use "clamshell mode", will it overheat? A nice speaker system would be nice to if someone could recommend one. Also, does anyone know of a good dvd ripping programming like dvd shrink for windows? I burn a lot of movies <3. I heard mac the ripper is decent, but I didn't know if it resized the actual movie. Also, how long do the batteries hold up? Do they have a pretty good life? I guess another question is if I don't get the macbook, and I got the mbp. What video card should I get? I have been on this site for 2 years, and I still don't know which mac I want.... pretty sad.... I love the new imacs, but like I said, probably the external monitor would be better as I would not have to update 2 computers. Any advice would be great. I also don't know what cases are best for protecting the laptops. There are so many options out there!