Originally Posted by wizard69
1. Most rational people don't even want an optical in their portables.
I'm torn with this. If I had my druthers (chr*st, I sound like my grandfather now), I would be with everyone else, dumping the optical in favor of a bigger battery, a primary OS SSD, built-in espresso maker, anything.
Something funny has happened the last few years tho and that's been my entire workflow has transitioned to my MBP, which I thought would never happen. My latests 'kick' is audio recording/engineering, and many of the software packages I've been buying are multi-DVD install monsters. Spectrasonic's Omnisphere was a 6 DVD install, and their Trilian module was 5 DVD. 90GB of data ain't downloadable in these parts.
I guess if it came down to it, these multi-DVD behemoth installs are pretty rare, maybe 1-2x a year. I'd probably skip the optical drive in favor of more practical day-to-day features that could use that extra space. If/when another monster install comes along, I'd just have to factor in an extra $100 for an ext. drive.
One gotcha is recording/mixing in the field and burning discs for clients/bands. Schlepping an additional external drive is a hassle but I'd do it. As much as I bellyache about possible scenarios where I need an optical, there are workarounds (ie, dropboxing files to clients), and the practical day-to-day benefits can't be denied.
Apple are usually the first to 'dump the buggy whips', so maybe we'll see them make some forward-thinking changes in the new lineup.
My 17" 2006 MBP has been my longest-serving Mac and it's hanging by a thread. The LCD is fading fast, and it no runs on battery power after having to replace the internal left I/O board. It's not a matter of wanting to get another MBP, I have to get one soon, so the rumored March refresh can't come soon enough.
An 8GB i7 SSD/HDD? Yeah, I'll sell a kidney, my Mamiya and maybe my Fender Jazz.