Hi all, This is my very first post about my very first mac machine, a late 2011 MBP with the 2.2 GHz Core i7 processor (2nd gen quad core), 512 MB Radeon 6750 video, 15" standard screen and 4 Gb of RAM. I've been a PC user for 25+ years and do a fair amount of photo editing and a moderate amount of graphic design for my secondary job as a photographer. My day job is as an IT tech. It would be awesome to get some honest, "proven" responses and not any personal "mac is better than pc" answers. So, after using pcs all these years and deciding to "upgrade" my last pc-based laptop (a Gateway ID79C with core i7 1.67 GHz first-gen dual-core processor, 8 GB RAM, 5400 RPM HDD, 1 Gb Radeon 5650 vid card) and I chose to get a macbook pro. I don't have an unlimited budget and after considerable research including talking with several mac techs and a guy at a mac store I thought this macbook pro would be at least a moderate step upwards in performance. Well, I use Adobe PS CS5, Illustrator CS5, MS Excel, Adobe Acrobat a,d several external USB hard drives (photo storage/backup). I am finding that I am spending as much time looking at that spinning "beach ball" as I ever did on my previous pc-based laptop (as specd above). Maybe I am doing something wrong or I am missing something but as of now (2 and a bit weeks of use on this macbook) I am feeling that I had traded $2200.00 CDN for a very nice looking BUT mediocre performing laptop. I could certainly have spent the money better with some additional photo lighting or gear and been frustrated NO more with my previous laptop than I am with this new macbook. DO NOT get me wrong, I am NOT bashing the macbook. I am simply relayin my initial experiences with it in comparison with a lesser specd pc laptop. I am hoping that I am missing something so I can justify the money I have spent. I am hoping someone here can tell me the "magic trick" I am missing to enjoy this macbook as I had hoped I would. As for the mac OS being better than Windows 7... Well, in some regards it is much better, in others it's much worse. Anyone can do pretty much any task on either platform. I apologize for the long post and the rant but I hope there's enough information in this post for someone to be able to help me out Show me the light as it were! Thanks all!