2) NewsFire http://www.newsfirerss.com/
3) You could use NeoOffice until iWork '07 comes out. http://www.neooffice.org/
4) I am using Mail after using Outlook 2003 on the PC. It suits my needs.
6) I attended an Aperture seminar today. Damn, that is one slick app!
7) Refurbished MacBook Pros are $1500 at http://store.apple.com/