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Ideas? Point me in the right direction? No-don't-buys? I admit I have a HORRENDOUS bias AGAINST HP/Compaq....
So I figured I'd just ask the pros.... I'll take a look at your recommendations, and thanks again!
Now that she has it, I steal it from her for my use as much as possible. This really, really surprised me, since I've never really been a GUI fan at all. I haven't yet had the money to buy myself my own yet :(
Everything in the Mac just works together well. Microsoft promotes an "integrated is better" philosophy to the world, and Apple does it right (it will be a big win for everybody if MS can figure out how to do it like Apple). All the core applications are separate, but they work together in a way that seems to be purely magical. (Oh, and you can install MS Office on it too, should you need it.)
If the machine is primarily for you, you probably want to go with a PowerBook. The PowerBook is slightly more powerful, slightly lighter, and much, much cooler looking.
You get Apache installed and ready to use for free with any Mac, what better tool for a webmaster! And it works seamlessly with Windows over a network, so you can share files easily.
I think I'm gonna have to go "play" at the new-in-town BestBuy.... it's pretty hard to get decent pricing locally, but BB is probably the place to start.
[Alternatively, there's wallyworld, or Staples.... and that's about it other than small dealers (we charge you the EARTH - are we worth it? Are you KIDDING?), Radio Shack (give me a break....), or the one local "ahem" guy (he's the one who chops the boxed models into bits and sells the bits....) Alternatively? Hrmm. There IS no alternative.... *sigh*]
...the only thing is I can't remember the model name...just saw it yesterday...grrr
I've purchased two refurbished laptops off of ubid, one Dell and one Compaq, and have never had any problems with either of them. Both retailed at around $2,000 at the time and I picked them up for around $700 including shipping. If it's FACTORY refurbished (the manufacturer did the repair, not a third party) you get the exact same warranty as you would if you bought a new one, which is usually one or 3 years.
So that's the reason for asking for info. Just haven't any knowledge on this to fall back on.
I really appreciate all the information!