Yeah, what's really interesting to me is how much of what we see later in Seasons 4 and 5 is set up in Season 2 (which I'm watching now). There are certain lines and scenes I just watched in S2 that carry much more weight given what we know happens later (and considering what might happen in S6).
Spoiler for Hiden:
I do hope we find out about Libby - I had completely forgotten her connection to Desmond and the boat, not to mention the connection with Hurley in the funny farm.
I've had Directv for over 2 years and it's been pretty good. I do have a landline but it's not hooked into the unit nor has it ever been - however when I signed up I did it through Verizon and everything was "linked" in terms of the account, and they still seem to like to use my phone number as the account link.
That said, I recently called to ask them about moving service over. The lady was kind of a bitch and basically said all of the specials they had were for "new customers" only. She made me feel like being an "old customer" was like being a leper, but whatever. So I'm planning to cancel their asses.
Count yourself lucky. It was horribly inane and irritating, at least the second part that I saw. They kept interjecting these side stories that I just found downright obnoxious. Like CK, I was rooting for the bad guy to just kill some people off, even though he was pretty annoying himself. Then I started hoping one of the stupid little kids or his mom would die. It's never good when you can't stand any of the characters.
I ended up fast forwarding through the majority of it just to see how they handled the climax. Which was basically just a pretty girl typing on her Panasonic Toughbook and spouting coordinates to save the world.
So, the GF and I started watching Lost now, and is a bit more than halfway through the first season...
I'm a bit baffled about this, since it seems clear to me already, that we are NEVER going to get any explanations if I'm right... Also, there are some outright wierd things happening that seems to be there JUST because its cool to wierd.
So, I guess my question is, will the series make sense? Or is it just character development and not plot that drives the show?
Oh, and I HAVE to know about the polar bears...are they there because the kid wanted them to be there?
Lost is probably my all time favorite TV show, and that's saying a lot as I've watched a TON of TV. I've now watched every season at least twice, closing in on my third time. Each time I discover more nuances to the show and it's a pleasure to see the gorgeous production values particularly on Blu-Ray if you get a chance.
That said, if you are a plot junkie who needs answers, you may find the show unsatisfying. The writers typically dole out "answers" in small bits at a time, and generally every answer they give you is serviced with 10 new questions. Does the series make sense? Yes and no and maybe. The show delves into mystic and scientific strangeness as well as time travel, so saying it "makes sense" is all relative. Without seeing the final season, it's hard to say if the show will be self-consistent (though it tries to be for the most part).
Season 1 is for the most part about character development and kind of Survivor-esque. Season 2 starts to change the show's dynamic and by 5 it has really reached more of a full blown sci-fi type of atmosphere. If you like the core characters, though, I encourage you to stay around for the whole "ride" - and pray like I am there is a great payoff come next January.
Spoiler for Hiden:
The polar bears are there for a much more generic reason than the boy willing them there, which you don't learn until season 3 (I think). However it's never explicitly said that the boy didn't influence their appearance on the island.
Quote from: Punisher on July 22, 2009, 09:05:58 PM
I don't think it is supposed to be in addition to the series finale, I think this was supposed to be instead of.... I think this one was supposed to make it possible for more shows...
Nope, from what I read it was filmed after the series finale was already completed, and intended to fill you in on what happened to Michael in particular in the missing time between the events shown in the finale.
The shocking series conclusion was just the beginning. Secrets revealed and mysteries solved. The truth will blow you away.
Also info in this article (lot of spoilers but he warns you first):
Quote from: Alefroth on July 22, 2009, 08:41:20 PM
Quote from: Daehawk on July 22, 2009, 06:19:50 PM
Ugh thats a terrible way to have a beta. Ive never purchased a single MMO that I wasn't in the beta for. I need to know before I buy on a MMO.
Believe it or not, the purpose of a beta isn't to give people the opportunity to see if they like it or not.
Agreed. I think a significant issue nowadays is that "beta test" has been equated with "free demo." The problem is just because you want to view it as a free demo doesn't mean that's the company's intent. They may be load testing or looking for specific bugs to show up, who knows. I wish that companies that intend their open beta to be a demo to just call it that. If not, I would hope that players understand that they are signing an agreement for a TEST of software. I try to always view it as a privilege when I get to do a beta test, not a right.
If they both come out on time, I'm personally going with Champions Online. For those that are interested in joining up again, I belive this will be the "official" choice for The Wanderers guild as well. We will likely be doing a much smaller, more laid back and casual guild for CO so hopefully it will be a fun atmosphere. There's been very little interest in Aion for us, and from what I saw during beta, I don't believe that's going to change much. The flying was cool, the main quest line seemed promising, but other than that it felt less interesting to me than the free Asian WoW clone Runes of Magic.
Well I made an appointment for next Friday so we'll see how it turns out. I'm still leery about the whole address thing - for some reason putting in the true address which includes "West" and a Number comes up empty, but ignoring the West on the street name brings up all services are available. I thought they'd be able to check the general area to be sure but the lady I worked with couldn't tell.
The one DVR thing confuses me a bit - assuming one person is watching a show on one TV, can another person on a different TV access anything that was previously saved on the same DVR? Is it kind of all network based so no one needs to be directly on the DVR itself? How much space does it have and can you add external storage?
Quote from: StriderGG on July 22, 2009, 05:10:27 PM
Quote from: warning on July 21, 2009, 10:16:43 PM
I'd just wait till the end of Oct or Nov and get one with Windows 7 installed.
IIRC, if you buy a system before Oct, you will be getting an upgrade coupon that will allow you to upgrade to Win 7 for free. Not sure if it's true and definitly check if your retailer supports this.
I disagree with Rittch' first post and agree with the second one.
You have to be careful with the update - not every computer from every manufacturer "qualifies" for the free upgrade. I think Dell is pretty explicit about which ones do and don't. I was disappointed to find out recently the cheapy Gateway I bought for my parents didn't qualify.
What do you disagree with on my first post? Is the 4350 good enough or are you saying go with the i7 instead of the E8400? In terms of gaming performance, I think the Dell would actually outperform everything thus far listed here since it's got the 9800GTs in SLI. The E8400 is a really nice/fast processor; frankly I felt like I had better overall speed back when I was using that over my present i7.
This was just released on DVD/Blu-Ray yesterday. Caught me by surprise, I hadn't heard of it. Apparently the producers put together 2 more episodes after the series finale, not sure exactly why as they had no commitment to air it. I guess Fox decided not to air it, so it was released to DVD.
For fans of the series, it has a little bit of everything, including most of your favorite characters, and is a pretty dramatic, hardcore story with decent action and emotional resolution. If you enjoyed the series, I'd say it's definitely worth at least a rental.
Spoiler for Hiden:
While I love the Sarah character, it was a bit much to see her get beat up and tortured yet again. Does this chick have the worst luck or what? Still it made for a cool small storyline, and you got to conclude the series with another prison break! Plus have the resolution of finding out how Michael dies.
I was actually hoping they would move the timeline years ahead again and show that Michael actually survived, but for whatever reason they decided to keep it secret from everyone. Maybe the electric jolt from his sacrifice (they never show him dead right?) cured his brain issue and they lived secretly happily ever after. That's how I'm going to think about it anyway
I really like the form factor of the Air, but the damn thing only has 2GB of RAM and ZERO option for adding more. It's absurd.
How much RAM do you really need though, seriously? WAR is a RAM hog and it plays fine on 2GB. I suppose if you are doing heavy photo editing or something? My stupid work computer, which pretty much handles everything from large CAD drawings to hardcore Electromagnetic and harmonic balance simulations, runs fine on 2.4GHz processor and 2GB RAM. Honestly as much as I am a RAM whore, I really wonder how much people really "need" for their true usage.
While I like all 3 of the games and each has nuances that make them slightly different from each other, if I had to choose only one at the moment, I'd pick LoL. The store format alone in LoL makes it the winner between the 3 for me, it's really that much better than DG or HoN. The "metagame" building up of your character, while I am a bit concerned about, is also a great addition. Overall I felt LoL was friendlier and easier to get into than HoN/DG, which allows you to focus more on the playing of the game. My one biggest complaint in LoL is you seem to reach the level limit too quickly and there is no variation in your skill picks (aside from when you pick them).
Still, there are things in HoN I also like a lot, and the graphical presentation in DG is a level above either of these 2 games, so it's a tough comparison.
I've got 4 games going now, including with Don and Tok. Pretty neat concept and I like that you can chat in the game as well.
It's interesting to see how much luck is involved in Scrabble-type games. I've always considered myself a pretty average player of these things. But due primarily to luck of the draw, I am doing horribly against one of the random players but pretty well against Tok.
Do you have recommendations on any classes that are "easier" to play? I typically do better with ranged and hit and run, but I'm open to suggestions if there are classes that are easier to learn the game.
I saw the build you mentioned on the Dell site. Personally I would forgo the i7 in favor of a better graphics card based system. Unless you plan to be doing something specific that you feel the need for a quad-core. I believe the 4350 is really on the low low end for gaming but I could be wrong.
Anyway, for the same price at Dell, you can get:
Intel® Core™2 E8400 (6MB,3.0 GHz, 1333FSB) Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1, 64-Bit XPS Standard System Cooling 1Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, InHome Service after Remote Diagnosis Microsoft Works 9.0 SLi, Dual nVidia GeForce 9800GT 512MB 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 2 DIMMs 500GB - 7200RPM, SATA 3.0Gb/s, 16MB Cache Single Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability No Monitor Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio No speakers (Speakers are required to hear audio from your system) No Keyboard No Mouse Black Bezel Chassis My Accessories Norton Internet Security™ 2009, 15-Month, English Dell Online Backup 2GB for 1 year Also Includes Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9.0 Multi-Language Windows Vista™ Premium Dell Remote Access, free basic service
Lenovo quality is utter SHIT compared to the old IBM stuff. They aren't the tanks that the old Thinkpads used to be, sadly. I won't buy anything but Apple hardware now for laptops, bar none.
You really need to try the x301. Best build quality of any laptop I've owned, including my macbook. The keyboard has no flex and the case is completely solid. With the SSD, the thing is completely quiet and doesn't heat up at all. I heart it so very very much.
The X301 is actually quite an interesting laptop for this thread in particular.
Lenovo Thinkpad X301 Brief Specifications Core 2 Duo SU9400 1.4 GHz, 13.3" Screen, 1440x900, 64.0 Gb HDD, 2048 Mb RAM, DVD-Multiburner, 802.11a/b/g/n wireless, 10/100/1000 Ethernet, Bluetooth, Windows Vista Business, 3.16 lbs, 3 years Warranty, Camera, 3-cell battery, Fingerprint Reader, TPM Your Price $1,899.00
Macbook Air 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 1066MHz frontside bus 2GB Memory 128GB solid-state drive1 NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics $1799
These units obviously compete for the same ultra lightweight portable space (3 pounds-ish). Aside from the DVD burner in the X301, the MBA has a far faster processor, much better 3D graphics, and twice the SSD space - for $100 LESS. In this case, Apple actually has the cheaper/value product
Quote from: Hotfreak on July 21, 2009, 12:16:42 PM
Zealots are actually the mirror class of runepriests; Archmage and Shaman are mirror classes.
I always had a problem with this mirror class system. It seems that the only way they found that they could "balance" it was to make the skills pretty generic. In fact, everything in WAR seemed generic and formulaic to me.
Yeah, unlike WoW where they just let the 2 sides have the EXACT same classes
Kossack, I have to agree with you - for whatever reason in the 3 games I've found the HoN people to be the worst. It's really unfortunate because as I mentioned above from my LoL experience, it just takes one ass to ruin your entire play experience.
It doesn't help to have the green arrow noob thing - the game I entered last night was titled "Players New to the Game" or something like that, and it was pretty clear that I (and maybe one other guy) were the only 2 n00bs. Luckily they weren't particularly hostile so I did get to play through the whole game and even with my suckitude my team managed to win somehow.
Unfortunately with the pressure from the hostility of real players, it makes it tough to really learn and practice the game. Hopefully if we get a large enough group in one of these games, we can resolve it by just playing amongst ourselves. And hopefully Hark will play with hand in his pants to make it more fair
I'm "rittchard" in both LoL and HoN, I've added Hark and Tals to my friends list.
I'm moving soon and trying to make a decision on what to do for TV, internet, etc. I do like Directv, but it's been getting more and more expensive, and they weren't willing to offer me anything significant to stay on with them when I moved. U-verse sounds like it has faster internet but they seem so new that no one I knows has tried them, and the few things I read seem to indicate maybe their HD quality is not good. I've never had good luck with Time Warner Cable but they are the only other option, and probably the cheapest. FiOS I believe is not available.
WAR's biggest problem is the engine. It's just god awful. From the key presses to the horrible animation of such and the horrendous frame rate issues. RvR was boring because you would never actually fight a real player, if you did your FPS dropped to 10 and you couldn't fight them anyways. One of the biggest reasons I don't stick around. I can't play a MMO where the MM makes it unbearable to play.
This is kind of odd - I've also heard others who had more tech problems with WAR than AoC. My experience has been the opposite, I've run WAR on every machine I have, from laptops with on-board GMA4500 to 9400M all the way up to my desktop GTX295. On the low-end laptops, framerates have always held steady and playable on low graphics (and sometimes medium) settings even in larger scenarios. On the high end it plays incredibly well even with a ton of folk in RvR. I know they've done a lot of optimization over the patches as well. I'm not sure what you mean by the keypresses, but I do recall one of the big patches early on changed the response times. Personally I never had any issues so I'm not sure how much a difference it made. Although AoC is visually more appealing, the WAR engine has been top notch for me performance-wise.
The anti-climactic ending very nearly killed the entire movie for me.
The rest of the movie was pretty good, if a little disjointed. It's a 2.5 hr long movie, but it actually felt a little rushed to me, and many of the scenes didn't flow together too well. Some of it was great, much of it was touching, subtle and nice. The action scene in the middle is just confusing as hell to me. I have no idea what the point of that was. Then the ending, oy. I don't need the movie to re-enact the book scene for scene, but jesus they pooched the ending. It's just an anti-climactic bore and it should have been spectacular. This movie needed another half hour or something.
I'd have to agree with this assessment. I felt like the movie had a split personality. First a light-hearted, funny relationshippy one (which I felt was portrayed very well and was enjoyable to see the cast get to have a little fun and angst), and then a darker, more serious one in the final half hour or so. The latter one I felt fell flat, and/or needed another half hour or so to do justice to. I was expecting something a bit more epic for the conclusion, involving more of the primary characters, but it seemed rushed and cut. And then it was just over. Makes me a bit nervous for the last movie, because I absolutely loved the book and so much happens with ALL the characters in the big battles, I really hope they don't cut a lot out.
I keep hearing a major plot point was cut out of the book - what exactly was it? I only read the last few chapters of Book 6.
As much as I am a fanboy of Apple, I admit I have had plenty of issues with iTunes over the years. Lots of weird things like songs duplicating, checked songs not appearing, non-checked songs appearing. Nothing that I couldn't get around, but lots of strange problems that I couldn't put my finger on. Here's a recent example: I brought in/converted about 5 CDs from the same artist; as far as I noted they all came in checked, and I'm pretty sure I had synced. A few weeks later I was planning to listen to one of the songs and not a single song from that artist had shown up. No idea why. I checked in iTunes and they were indeed checked to be sync-ed, but for some reason were never placed in the Recently Added playlist. I've never had any problems with new songs in the Recently Added playlist, or for that matter with any playlist that I've specifically checked to sync. But for some reason there are some songs iTunes seems to decide I wasn't serious about wanting on my iPhone or iPod.
Here are some comments and impressions on LoL from this weekend, first from a friend (Ayngel) who describes it pretty well, and then from me.
so i got one game in this morning while the servers were open to the public, and as one might expect there aren't that many surprises, its basically dota.
The first thing i noticed though is that the lobby seemed pretty decent, and you could check your profile, see how many wins/losses you had with each character, and check out your level/stats. It appears that regardless of which character you play during a game your overall account gains levels and abilities, and even has WoW like talent trees. My assumption is that these new runes/powers/talents are global to your account and can be used by any character you choose. I did start with 2 powers, a heal which healed me for 500hp or so every few minutes, and a nuke that insta killed 1 creep every few minutes. Looking over the talent trees very briefly yielded things like 2% less mana, 2% faster cooldowns, stuff that could certainly be applicable to any character.
After looking over those a bit i decided to just play a game against some bots to figure out what it was like, forgoing the "join now as solo" and "join now as group" options, i created a custom game added some bots and away i went. Once the game starts you get like 2 minutes to configure everything, which character you want to play, which powers/runes/talents etc you want to bring. I choose the fallen angel, a caster type character and the 2 starter powers i had.
Once you're in game you'll notice its exactly like dota, creeps are marked on the maps, the lanes and towers are near identical, the only difference is that there appears to be only a single shop. The shop however is nice. It has all of the items broken down by category, damage, armor, movement and consumable, with sub categories under each. Once you drill down to the lowest level you'll see all of the items available, how much they are, their stats, and even the items that these can be upgraded too. On the right side it even shows you "recommended" items for your character. The coolest thing (much improved over dota) is that lets say you hover over the "uber sword of killing everyone", it shows you with a tree exactly what items are needed to combine into this uber sword, and from that tree you can see their individual stats, price, and even purchase them.
Once i had picked the "big staff of lots of magic" that was recommended and seemed to fit my character i bought 1 of the first items needed to build it, and off i went, from here on it played pretty much exactly like dota. creeps met in the middle, heros fought near by, gold is awarded for killing creeps, you gain xp, level up, increase your powers, rinse repeat. One thing i noticed was that the consumable shop didn't seem to offer a TP scroll, but instead every character has a permanant button on the UI that teleports you home after 8 seconds of no damage. This seemed kind of nice actually. You get a free port home whenever you want it, provided you can stay safe for 8 seconds, and you get all of the benefits that it comes with (healing, defending, upgrades) but the penalty is that you have to hoof it back to wherever you were, possibly giving your opponent a minute or two of free time to push.
As for my character specifically, she had 3 normal powers and 1 super power (go go dota clone). a bolt ability that would root/dot the first thing it ran into, a ground target aoe dot and a hero targetable damage absorb. my super ability sort of went with the theme of doing dot damage and rooting someone into it for max effect, what it did was provided a dot on my target for 4 seconds doing OK damage, but if i stayed close to them it did bonus damage. If i stayed close to them the entire duration it would explode for extra damage and a stun at its climax.
by the end of the match (against easy bots) i had compleded 3 or 4 of the recommended items, and had tons of mana, and my spells did pretty good. but as you might expect, if the enemy could withstand my dot barrage i was pretty squishy and could get taken out easily. even with all my items my melee damage never got very good, but i could drop a wave of creeps with my aoe dot in a few seconds.
so my very first impression summary is that if you like dota, you'll like this. My first thought was "why would i play this, if i could just play dota instead" but after thinking about it more, having an account that all your deeds are tied too, and levelling/upgrading that account might eventually lead to better matches and more accountability, alleviating my biggest complaint about dota, which is matches where people leave after 5 minutes.
From what I remember of DoTA, this (and HoN) are definitely the more "pure" DoTA clones, almost to the point as Ayng says of why not just play DoTA. But I think they both are trying to add more of a metagame and probably more distinct characters and more modes of play and variations. Gameplay and graphics wise, they are much closer to DoTA than Demigod. Demigod definitely has a different feel in terms of the maps and graphics, possibly because of the level you can zoom out to, I think it tends to feel more RTS-y on a board, as opposed to RPG-y on a map. While I like the quality of the Demigod graphics/effects much better, I think I like the "feel" of the more close-in perspective of LoL and HoN. Granted I only got to test one map but I think you can pretty much get the gist it's going to look a lot like WC3 and WoW in terms of graphics.
Ayng covered most the game details very well. I definitely like the store much much better than Demigod's. Characters-wise, I've only tried 3 so it's hard to say yet. They are certainly very distinctive and can play differently. One thing I wish one of these games would do is go Champions like, and let you pick your own powers from powersets (with limits of course). Even tougher to balance, but I would love that kind of customization. Unfortunately each of the characters I played so far had a couple of powers I just didn't find that thrilling or useful, and if the game goes longer (most of mine did) you just end up maxxing all 4 powers which is kind of uninteresting. I'm also not sure I like the 4 power limit, in that sense I think Demigod was better and character builds within a match felt more interesting and distinct. LoL feels much more like it becomes very gear dependent, or how you choose strategically which gear to get and when. You may or may not like that.
On the metagame, I really like having it there (the levelling and WoW-esque talent trees, plus the rune book system). My concern would be in balancing, as even though you only gain slight advantages with these, that coupled with more player experience and skill can turn things even more lopsided. The first match I got into had me at level 1 (first game) matched with others in their teens. So not only was I completely noobish skillwise, but also starting at a disadvantage from stats as well. This is something that definitely has to be watched, I would say a really good matching system should watch not just level but wins/losses and games played.
Unfortunately these games all tend to boil down to who you play with and against. A single asshat can make the whole game suck. I played 3 5v5 matches and each time there was at least one asshole, and usually more than one. Combine that with leavers and leeches and it makes for a less than satisfying experience. Here again I think Demigod has got the other guys beat with a much stronger AI/bot system. Although Ayng seems to say he found a way to play bots in LoL, I was unable to (maybe they closed it last night).
All that said, and even having only tested this partial beta build, for some reason I think I am going to like this better than Demigod in the long run. Just a feeling I get.
I had a better play experience in LoL than I did with HoN, but I need to give the latter more of a chance. I got into a game and the people I played with were all a bunch of jerks and it kind of ruined the whole thing. That and the fact I hadn't played anything like this in quite a while, it was a bad way to "warm up".
I couldn't get Wizardry or Ultima to fire up properly, but finally got Olympic Decathlon to run. Oh man that brought back some inane memories of my friends and I whacking away at the 1-2 buttons to run lol.
Quote from: Hamsterball_Z on July 19, 2009, 07:48:38 PM
Quote from: th'FOOL on July 19, 2009, 05:05:46 PM
Honestly, in my opinion, you get what you pay for. When you factor in the quality of the components and the actually usable software, I feel that Macs are worth every penny.
Now that Apple has switched from PowerPC to Intel chips there really isn't anything in a Mac that isn't an off the shelf PC component. You can even run OSX on PC hardware. Anyone want to build a Hackintosh? The only thing unique to a Mac is that fruity logo.
I think the Macbook Air is still one of Apple's finest hardware achievements, and definitely not a PC off the shelf build. It's all around the most enjoyable laptop experience I've ever had, from the feel of the keyboard, to the eery weightlessness (yet sturdy) feel of the build, to the gorgeous screen and the backlit keyboard and the multi-touch touchpad, it's just a joy to use. My only complaints would be on heat (rarely) and battery life (no surprise given the weight). I've owned about 10 different laptops (all PCs til now) and none of them have gotten the use this one has.
- - -
Also, I think I mentioned this on another thread, but in terms of bang for the buck. I recently bought a new iMac after getting great use from my older one the past 2+ years. The "old" one, after spending $20 on RAM, re-installing the OS, and wiping the screen clean, literally looked and felt like a brand new unit as I put it back in the original box. I gave it to my niece as a junior high graduation present and sitting in her room, again it seemed as good as new. Point being I can't imagine doing anything like that with any of my PC hardware over 2 years old, since most of it has died or been junked.
I suppose the difference, and the point of the ads, is that while the low-end Macbook may (now) be comparatively prices with PC laptops of that spec range, what if you don't need those specs? Well, if you're looking at PCs, there's an incredibly wide range of models available at a huge range of prices, going down to a few hundred dollars. If all you need is basic word processing and web browsing, then you can get away with a low-end machine for a cheap price. If you're looking at Macs, the lowest price you can find is not cheap. Yes, you may be getting a decent price for what you're getting, but that may be more than what you need. That, I think, is the point of the ads, that you can get the laptop that actually fits your needs.
I think you did a much better job in your description here than any of the ads do, in fact if they created the ad more clearly the way you've expressed it - emphasizing choice/options, I think it would come across more intelligent
The ads as they stand, for the most part feel misleading to me, and in some cases the comments made are flat out stupid (I assume it's scripted but either way some of the people come across as morons) like when one of the chick says she wants something good for graphics editing or the one where they say the macbook is "too cool looking" - huh?
I love my windows pc and I love my macbook, but come on, apple crap is so ridiculously overpriced it borders on criminal. F the Apple tax!!! Their lowering of prices was nothing.
I don't know if I believe this story is true, seems pretty sad if it is. That said, if you take a really hard look at the Macbook line, it is not the overpriced monstrosity some like to make it to be.
Take the entry $999 Macbook. Go and look for something comparable in the PC world and you'll be surprised at what you find. But don't forget to take into account the processor, the graphics capabilities and the size/weight (most often ignored). The 9400M chipset is Apple's biggest strength at the moment, as it has allowed them to lower their prices but challenge the cheaper mainstream laptops which generally feature Intel GMA4500 at the best, which is still behind. In the $700-800 range you'll find some good laptops with similar processors, more RAM and a bigger hard drive, but with less graphics power. YMMV as to what that's all worth, but it's not as clearcut as some people seem to think.
Same thing goes with the Macbook Air - you can say it's incredibly overpriced compared to similarly specced laptops - until you do a real search and find out there is nothing out there in the same weight class that has the same performance; a couple of competitors have come close, but fell short in either the processor or graphics again.
As you get to the higher end Macbook Pro line, the comparisons start to become more interesting. But again, it's important to compare everything - size/weight, screen size, resolution, battery life, processor power, etc when you are doing these types of comparisons.
I dunno about all the complaints, but I just watched Roper's recent video on Character Creation and almost spooged in excitement. Absolutely cannot wait for this! Just playing with the character creator looks like it will be worth the purchase price IMHO. (And BTW I thought CoX was pretty awesome for character creation as well). I almost wish this was not an MMO and you could create a full team of your own heroes. Or that they'd use the same engine for such a game. About 30 years ago I used to write my own comics and of course I had created full teams of heroes that I would love to re-create.
But it's the kind of thing that if you didn't consciously fret about, it probably wouldn't make that much difference. It all depends on how serious you are about speed. If you are really impatient and get annoyed that Windows 7 isn't coming up in a matter of seconds, or some game is taking 2 minutes to load up instead of 1 and a half, you probably want to make the plunge.
Also as mentioned, I would look at SSD as well at this point if you are most interested in booting up quickly. OCZ's Vertex line is getting more and more reasonable; I think they just came out with a new one too.