i ended up getting one to replace iBook G4
and it's great. i'm a tech pro and college student; my laptop goes with me everywhere (along with, unfortunately, a bleeding *tome* of a calculus text and accompanying binder) and i'm not gentle with it. i try to be, but i forget. The iBook (4 years old) has lived all 4 years like this, including falling off bicycles onto asphalt, dropped from 4 feet when i tripped over a dog in the hallway, and, of course, being pulled numerous times off tables and chairs when i tripped over the power cord. It needed the hard drive replaced *once* (after the dog incident), but the motherboard replaced a couple times (the notorious iBook whacked display problem). In fact, that's what finally killed it: it's out of AppleCare and my attempts to shim and solder the IC in question only worked for a bit.
i'm not rich -- far from it -- but we decided that a replacement laptop for me was more important than other expenses we have coming up, since i use it every day and need it for school and work.
Since i am certified with Apple, i perused their internal tech documents about all three model-lines. i got a chance to test the MBA and a MB in noon sunlight and in the middle of a forecourt lawn for display and wireless capability. i put them both into my backpack in place of my iBook and tested the weight of them with my typical load.
i did also examine specs and price, but i'm not a gamer or multimedia person, but a beginning programmer and web coder, so pretty much anything would've been acceptable after the iBook -- which worked perfectly for me for years. i never felt its age before it actually failed.
Style, i don't care about. Otherwise i'd've found a way to replace the iBook last year, instead of making it last as long as possible.
After an hour in an Apple store, i went ahead and financed a MBA.
It's been perfect in the month since i got it. i never have wireless trouble; it switches networks effortlessly (like Macs do, unlike the Windows laptops i've had to deal with), the display is perfect and the weight is like losing a couple pounds out of that backpack. And the slimness means that the pack doesn't strain when i close it anymore and i can fit my lunch in finally.
Best of all, AppleWorks still works perfectly under OS 10.5, so i don't have to buy Pages! ;)
i never miss the ports. All i ever used was a USB double-button mouse for WoW and some light graphics work, and it fits and works fine.
A hard-core gamer or heavy multimedia producer wouldn't like this unit. But for one who is neither, but does program and does often have ten or more apps open at once, and carries the laptop around everywhere, it's perfect. i'm even not minding the fixed battery, since i haven't been able to hot-swap batteries since the Duo anyway. If i can plug in long enough to swap batteries without shutting down, why not just stay plugged in and recharge? The battery lasts long enough for it to go through a day at work (it's not constantly used, just regularly) and an evening at school -- and often, the bus ride between.
i *have* used Windows (Lenovo) laptops. i've used them for work, where i had to carry them around to test wireless at various schools. They were a pain in the patookus, because they'd almost invariable bluescreen when awoken in a zone different than when they went to sleep. i took to carrying my iBook as well (talk about a heavy bag!), because *it* could sleep and wake in different zones without batting a cycle. If the wireless were up and running, it would just attach and keep working as if nothing happened. The Windows laptops would BSOD or complain about IP numbers if it did manage to reattach to the new zone; i'd have to quit any network apps and restart them. The iBook i could leave all my apps open and they would just pick up where they left off.
So please, whilst i admit i never even considered a Windows laptop for the replacement, don't accuse me of a blind Mac-worship. i *have* and do work on both sides.