A friend of mine wants to sell his iMac 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 17" (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T7200, 1GB DDR2, 160GB, DVDRW DL, Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, 17" LCD). I am in the market in picking up a Mac for home (1st home Mac purchase). I am not going to be doing any heavy lifting with it... mostly Firefox, iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie for digital video (not HD), iCal, Frontrow, DVD Player, and some minor kids games for my 5 year old.

I already have a decent 22" LCD that I don't want to part with, and I was just under the assumption that I would get a Mac mini (2.0GHz C2D, up the RAM and just live with it). My friend has been itching to upgrade, and this might be an opportunity for us both. That being said, I can't live with such a small screen and I would need to run the iMac in dual display with my DVI connector on my LCD. To get Leopard, I will have to upgrade (cost $130). I will also need to make sure that I can run the 2nd monitor as my primary, because I don't want to dock so small on the 17". I will also need to upgrade the RAM (same cost of upgrading the 1GB on the mini)

So therein lies my dilemma. Brand new with warranty... but more anemic graphics processor by going the route of the mini... or go the used route, upgrade the software and then use dual display (my need to keep my desk looking good isn't terribly satisfied on this idea as my 22" black/grey LCD will not look great sitting next to a white iMac.

I could always jump up to a Macbook or something more expensive, but I am just looking for something simple and cost effective here. If the iMac IS something I should look to, what is a fair price to pay for something like that now? He is a friend of mine, so I would want the price to be fair on both ends. TIA.