i have done LOT of browsing about laptops the conclusion that I have reached is this:
APPLE notebooks are for those of us who do NOT play games, because quite simple the ati 1600 video card isnt the best mobile graphics card out there. If you are just a "multimedia" person, then get an apple, lots of ease, simply better constructed than xp, and less issues. Apple computers are not for people who have a budget of less than $2000.
WINDOWS is NOT as bad as it is said to be if you are careful, which means using performance-breaking virus scan programs running 24-7. BUT if you like playing video games Windows notebooks are the ONLY way to go. Dell is offering FANTASTIC deals with 7900 series video cards, which the Apple's 1600 does not even compare to. You may not play games on your laptop too frequently but to be able to do that would be great. You can get an awesome laptop from Dell for $2000 that would cost about $2600 from Apple.
Personally, I do a lot of photo editing, rendering, 3d programs, and even a little gaming. So the Apple, despite being the industry standard for graphic design, just doesnt cut it.
Manufacturers to consider for Windows Laptops:
THe number one is undeniably Dell (this is coming from someone who hates Dell), they have the most choices, and best deals. When shopping from Dell, look around on the internet for coupons.
The other ones are ASUS, ACER, TOSHIBA, all of these offer great configurations. Asus and Toshiba have outstanding finishing and designing. Acer lacks behind in the design department, but their costs are less and configurations are a little better.
Specifications to look for in a laptop right now:
Go for the 2.16 (T2600) Intel Core Duo
At least 1 Gb of memory, preferably 667 mhz and 2 GB
17 inch LCD
7200 rpm Hard Drive (even if you are getting fewer Gigabytes, id go for a higher rpm HD)
ANd thats about it without getting too much into it