I'm currently on a MacBook Pro 17" / 2.66 Core 2 Duo / 4 Gb (blah, blah - standard set-up). It works great and I can't complain. But as I don't travel for work as much as I use to, I want to forego the laptop and switch back to a desktop (and bigger screen). As with most people, if price were no object...you know the drill. A friend of mine is going to purchase my MBP for $2600 (don't know why, and not talking him out of it - it was his offer price). I want to stay at about $4000 total budget (coming soon 27" LED included) / maybe a tad higher, but not much...So my direction can go one of two ways: - I can just get a souped-up iMac, but as the price starts climbing, I feel like it would make sense to just switch to a Mac Pro. - Go the Mac Pro route. Want a solid system that can be upgraded down the road. Just want to start with something that gets the job done easily, can be modified down the line (i can do it myself, too). I don't need the 12 core. I'm guessing even the slowest quad core would work fine for me. I don't want to start at the lowest point, and can't afford Mt. Everest. So I was thinking about the Westmere processor. Do I go the quad core route and upgrade to the single or 8 core and get slowest double? Is 6gb of ram ok or should I order more? I could ask questions all day and night, but.... Just looking for some insight into getting a solid system at that pricing. What would you suggest? I work as booking agent in music industry. So we're talking a ton of email (Mail/Entourage/Outlook). MS Office apps (Word/Excel/Power/Entour). Chat stuff (MSN, Skype). Calendars. I do some amateur photo/video of both personal and work (concerts, touring, etc) when I need something - but not professional photo/video editing or web design or anything like that. The iLife suite suits my needs fine or I could bump up to Photoshop Elements or even a torrent of Photoshop, or InDesign. While it's easier to just check mark boxes and place the order, it seems like the opinion hear is to buy memory elsewhere, possibly same with hard drives, disk drives, etc. I do have 3 external HD's - all Western Digitals. A 500gb portable, and two 1 gb desktops. Is it possible to crack them open from inside the casings and install them into the Mac Pro or bad idea? I'd love to do that. I can't build a computer from scratch - not that kind of skill or money. But would like to know the basis to order from Apple and then what I should order elsewhere to upgrade at better price point - or just spend the full $4000-$4500 at Apple?