Hoi hoi folks, my names Kelvin and I joined this forum to help me understand the best Macbook to purchase for my next few years at university. I'm doing Creative Multimedia and yesterday at my open day I was advised to invest in a Macbook for the course and specifically Final Cut Pro. You would think just use the Macs they have but, with funding cuts and a screw up on the system they took 26 people between 18 macs instead of 18 people between 18 macs. I've only used a mac mini before and it wasn't too pleasant, but I imagine the Macbook Pros are much better. I understand the 15" Macbook Pro's i5 processor to be a significant improvement over the previous years C2D models, so I would think that, if I'm spending a lot of money (I can't shake the feeling it's just way too much) I might aswell get a decent if not a rather good Macbook. With my student discount I can get around 13.9% discount on the Apple site, the low tier 15" Pro is 1,288.98 incl. VAT. As I like my resolution I would go for the Hi-Res Glossy Widescreen Display which puts the total to 1,358.30 incl. VAT

I would like to have a portable powerful machine to take to class, I have a powerful desktop already and a very low end Windows XP laptop with integrated intel graphics that is good for browsing and word processing but nothing else. The less amount of times I have to go to campus the better, as it saves money on transport (25mins on train) and doesn't stress my really bad nerves anymore than they already are.

The question I would like to ask the community, are the Macbook Pro 15" i5s the best way to go? and if so are any upgrades that are available on the site worth going for now, such as high res (1680x1050 or so I believe?), 7200rpm drive that I feel I could replace on my own for cheaper? If I'm getting my student loan/grant in the next week, and if anyone has any experience with paying monthly, are the 14.9 rates consistent through the whole period of repayment? or is it not worth paying extra and just buying it off for good? anyone could give any good advice on my situation, or even link me to a site that would sell the i5's for cheaper, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you for your time.