Bottom line we are now at a point where computers should not be the weak link in the chain when it comes to music production, with quad cores, 4 gigs or ram as a starting point, power is not the issue.
I hope you are joking right ?
Sure with todays Software the computer might not be the weak link, but already there is coming new software that is VERY cpu demanding and more powerful and that take advantage of the CPU power.
T-Racks 3 which I use a lot is an cpu eater. So I think there will take many many many years until the computer is not the weak link in the production chain since the software is going to get more and more powerful in parallel with the how the CPU/Memory power evolve.
And about my Laptop comment, If you read what I said, I said..only in "general" there is exceptions, compared with workstations they are still toys though
So it is all relative..
Actually I was not. Yes there always will be some software companies who like to push the bounds of processing power, but products such as Waves, Abbey Road, URS and others all are considered professional software and are all relatively processor efficient.
I have recorded and mixed numerous projects with an average of 24 - 36 tracks while sending 16 channels of output on a single processor AMD for years with very little CPU struggle. I have played shows, flawlessly with multiple live softsynths on a single processor Intel celeron.
Even low level budget Dells have 4 x the power now...my studio computer is a quad core intel with 4 gigs of Ram, I just did a sound design session with 200 tracks before rendering (which is a ridiculous track count) numerous plug-ins and I was barely at 75% of the computer's power.
So yeah, to use your arguments since you assume most folks here are not audio "professionals" needing big ticket macs and such...power should not be an issue.
John...buy the Mac from Best buy and be happy, it will rock. Let your computer inspire you and make you happy, you will make better music.