Thanks guys, OP here. Stop pc vs mac opinions please!
The word best in the title does not mean what machine is the best ever, but what is the one you're happy with, considering price/quality too. For it's pretty sure a 3000$ machine would be pretty nice....
The best one is not necessarily the most priced.
Sorry, but mostly with laptops, the more you spend the better laptop you get. There are exceptions of course, CPU isn't an issue on macbook Air's, or Panasonic Toughbooks, those are nitch devices though. Mostly if you spend 2K on a laptop without it being some odd size like 20 inches etc. but if you spend 2K on a PC or Mac 15" laptop more than likely you won't have anything to worry about. I wouldn't expect anything under $1500 to be a good workhorse
, sure it might do, but it's not going to be the rule but rather the exception. Seriously, the things all cost $800 and up, and you can't do much with them besides replace the hard drive with an SSD three years from now for a little performance boost, but who's to know if SSD's at that point will be backwards compatible? Get the best laptop you can afford, I like OSX, but if Windows is what you know and like listen to the PC guys here!
Oh, and shop around when it comes to hard drives and RAM, it's sometimes best not to get what you want with the laptop, but to upgrade later, especially with Macs.
i tend to agree with everything here except the price points. those have come down. 3 years ago your post would have been all but fact. in the PC world i would change that 1500 to 1000 maybe even 900. you can get a decent mom or grandma grade PC for 500 bucks now, but with a 1000 bucks or close to it you should be able to get a "good workhorse"... having said that i totally agree that once you hit the 1500 mark (with the exception of weird niche computers) you're pretty much guaranteed to be able to do some serious computing.