MacBook Pro vs. MacBook/iMac vs. MacBook/Mac mini

I will be in the market for a new Mac in early 2007. I currently use a PowerBook G4-1.5GHz, 2GB ram, 15 inch screen; 80GB hard disk. I use this for tons of stuff, including but not limited to: podcast production (Audacity and iTunes); Office apps (MS Office; InDesign); blogging (Safari); web development (Firefox, PageSpinner, Photoshop); and email (Eudora).

I have three users set up on the machine: Admin (used only for installing software and system updates); Work and Home. I carry the computer between home and work every day and evening and keep everything separated from each other. One of the things I use in my current setup is the display spanning. I have an external 19 inch LCD at home and work and I love that feature.

For my 2007 computer purchase, I want a MacBook Pro. But is it really that good a deal? What if I got two computers instead of one? All machines listed here are using the Intel Core 2 Duo chip. All have a SuperDrive (the ComboDrive is not an acceptable option.)

Which option is the best bang for the buck?

Option 1. MacBook Pro
15 inch non-glossy screen
2.33Ghz
2GB Ram
$2,499.

Option 2. Macbook and iMac
MacBook
13 inch glossy screen
2.00Ghz
1GB Ram
white
$1,299

iMac
17 inch screen
2.00Ghz
1GB Ram
$1,199.00

Option 3. MacBook and Mac mini
MacBook
13 inch glossy screen
2.00Ghz
1GB Ram
white
$1,299

Mac mini
Connected to my existing LCD monitor
1.83Ghz
512B Ram
$799

Eventually I’d probably need to add RAM to the MacBook and iMac/Mac mini. Plus I’d need the $19 adapter for mini-DVI to DVI for the MacBook.

So up front is $2,499 for the MacBook Pro vs. $2,517 for the MacBook/iMac vs. $2,367 for the MacBook/Mac mini. Shipping costs will be higher for the two systems vs one. What are your thoughts on how I could move forward?

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