A couple of people have wondered about the outcome of my computer-purchase deliberations. I am happy to say that this past weekend I placed an order for one of these sweethearts:
I haven’t got it yet, but it should arrive in a week or so. What finally pushed me toward Apple was the fact that we got the “educational discount” on account of my wife’s being a student. It’s only a small discount, but we also got several hundred dollars worth of free stuff that I can turn around and sell. (Anybody want an iPod Touch or a printer?) That brought the price down far enough to make it feasible. I am still a little worried that I spent too much, but, at the end of the day, financial problems are not insurmountable. There are always options.
My thanks to everyone who offered advice as I was trying to make up my mind. I appreciate it.