Hey everyone,

This is the first time I've ever started a thread, and I searched around before so I hope that I'm not going to bore anyone by asking the same questions as a lot of other threads.

I purchased an iMac in 2011 and absolutely adore it, but I need to replace my old Dell Inspiron as I am finishing my Bachelors and will be starting my Masters next year. I have been researching the new MBPs for months now, but I still am unable to make a couple decisions regarding the custom configurations.

Mainly going to be using: lots of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PPT, internet, and limited music and pictures
-I realize that these running these programs is nothing compared to photo editors and the like, BUT I plan on keeping this machine a while and if I am going to drop at least $2500 I just want it to have the best configuration as possible. (My limit is $3000)

1. I understand the SSD option is preferable, but I'm concerned with the limited storage.
-Would it be better to get the MBP with SSD from Apple, then use an External HD (such as time capsule)
-OR- getting the MBP with 750GB (at 7200 rpms) and adding a SSD when the prices drop?

2. Is it possible to buy additional HD or SSD from Apple and have them do the install? because I am not sure if I feel comfortable altering it myself and more than that I am afraid of voiding the warranty

3. While trying to figure out which hard drive to go with I found some threads dealing with 7200 rpm causing vibrations, humming, and excess heat output.
-has Apple resolved this issue with the October 2011 MBP (15-inch)

4. For the 15-inch MBP, would 8gb of RAM + 750gb (7200rpms) cause any problems with the hardware (such as overheating, straining the machine, or vibrations/humming)

5. I will definitely purchase AppleCare, but I am considering Square trade as well
-can anyone let me know of their experiences (positive/negative) because I am not sure if its worth it or not

Sorry for all the questions, but I attempted to get everything I have been stressing over in one post. I appreciate any help and suggestions, and thanks in advance!