I did do a forum search . . I swear! But I'm planning on running Lion, along with Windows XP in a VM using either Fusion 4.x or Parallels 7.x. The computer will essentially be a database server in which 4-8 other iMacs will access. I was told that the main software that I will be using runs adequately on the latest few iterations of iMacs, along with MacPros. I am having difficulty decided what platform to use. I purchased a Mid-2011 iMac 3.4GHz Core i7 (12GB Ram, Thunderbolt ports), thinking that would certainly suffice. However, now I'm leaning towards the MP platform, mainly due to its expandability and ease of upgrading. (One thing that comes to mind is installing an eSATA card so that I can attach my quad-interface external backup drive, although FW800 should also suffice, albeit slower). I have a chance to purchase an Early-2009 8-core 2.66GHz (12GB Ram) on the cheap (but out-of-warranty), but also have family at Apple, and can get the 'friends and family' 15% discount on any new MacPro. I was leaning towards the Hex-Core 3.33GHz model. Of course, I'd also have to purchase a display to go along with the MP. Again, I have a new CTO iMac in the box. I can return it for a refund, but the window runs out fairly soon. Would all these machines run virtual machines without a hitch, or does one stand out? Oh . . one last caveat: as a business expense, I need to purchase before year's end. Otherwise, I'd wait to see if a new MP is introduced in 2012Q1.