I've had great luck with my refurb purchases and will continue to purchase them. It is a tough call:refurb VS New. My only thought on that one is that with the refurb, you know that Apple has hand QA'd the system. That may or may not have any bearing on whether you get a cherry or a lemon from either source.
Me, I like the refurb route better. No rebate hassles. I've had great luck with rebates, I just wonder when that luck is going to run out.
Unless the rebate is instant I would go with the refurbished machine. That's just how I feel about rebates. Given the speed of communications these days I should think that all rebates would be instant.
Since any moderately sized company can instantly notify their product vendor that a sale has occurred. Then get monthly batches of refunds for rebates honored at the point of sale, from the product manufacturer. Supposedly Best Buy is fazing out mail in rebates for instant rebates just for that reason.
In house rebates are even more annoying since it is all an accounting trick. Rather than the stores taking a hit in there sales numbers by taking a rebate, the rebate is sent to their corporate offices where the loss is company wide. While the individual stores show a profit for still selling at full price. Since the loss occurs to the company either way, I think in house rebates should be eliminated by companies entirely and rather a simple sales price given to the consumer. If the management does not want the losses to show up in the stores than corporate can refund the stores the money lost to the sale and reestablish the loss as corporate.
These rebates will not stop until consumers stop considering mail in rebates. I for one never factor in the potential savings of a rebate rather I look solely at what I am paying out the door. </rant>
Sorry for the rant I just don't like these archaic business practices.
I have heard nothing but good things about Amazon's rebates. It's not mail in, but done online IIRC. So its not a lot of hassel. Plus if you get a DOA, will take care of it just as if you got it from an store.
Ditto that on the Amazon rebate system. It's very easy and fairly quick for a rebate. Now that it's all online it's very nice. I did have a problem a few years ago with my wife's iBook mail in rebate from Amazon, but my recent purchase of an iMac for my mom erased that negative impression.