Hi everyone, I know there are countless topics on this, but I was hoping to get some advice from those out there more knowledgeable than me regarding my specific situation. I'm looking to purchase a new Mac notebook. My current notebook is a 2006 first-gen Intel processor MBP, 2.16 GHz Core Duo, user-upgraded to 2GB RAM. The computer has been a workhorse for nearly 7 years, but she's definitely shown signs of not being able to keep with the times. Programs are incredibly slow to load, processes take forever, multitasking is impossible, and precious hours of my life have been wasted entranced on the spinning rainbow wheel. It's a sad state of affairs when you turn to your iPhone for YouTube videos because you know the computer can't handle them. Money is an issue - however - I buy computers to go the distance. I can't afford nor do I have the time and energy to continually buy/sell to keep with the times. I need future proofing, while still maintaining some sort of budget (e.g., less than $3,000.) My list of pros and cons are very much like everyone else... the SSD is a must, and my guess is that the cMBP will be discontinued or re-designed soon. The retina screen will likely become the new standard, yes? My concern is that I don't want to buy a system that will look incredibly outdated in 5 years - think projection TV vs. LED TV. The lack of user-upgradeable/replaceable parts in the rMBP scares me... solder comes apart, parts die, and I don't want to be at mercy of a "genius". BUT, the sheer speed, capability, and weight of the rMBP is extremely appealing to me. I'm a musician and hobbyist photgrapher. I have a large library of WAV/MP3's and need storage space outside of externals. I need processing power to see real-time slider input from Aperture and/or Lightroom for 16 megapixel RAW files (something my current system cannot handle.) I prefer a quality screen to get the most out of photo editing (an additional monitor is not an option). I need a CD drive for reading, burning, and playing audio discs. So as I see it, my options are: 1) Buy 15" cMBP. Spend extra money to user-upgrade SSD and RAM. Perhaps increase SSD in a few years when prices have come down to increase storage. 2) Buy 15" rMBP. Spend a LOT of extra money on maxing out RAM and SSD. Spend close to $4,000 with tax/applecare. Yikes. 3) Wait another 6(ish) months to see what happens with current cMBP line and hope retina prices come down. Any thoughts out there? TL;DR - Professional musician/hobbyist photographer needs fast system with large SSD, while staying with a musician budget of around $3,000 or less. Current system is 7 years old. New system needs to be future-proof for at least 5-7 years for financial reasons. Needs advice!