People like you insulting my intelligence and level of computer use is the type of thing that makes me want to investigate Mac hardware even less. I may not require the shiniest new machines out there, but I'd hardly call myself a low-end consumer. Oh well... this is getting pointless.
Yes, I agree this is pointless. But here I go.
I have to use your statements. Sorry. It's not meant to be insulting. However, you stated you are not willing to spend more than 500 for a complete system.
Bottom line: you are not a customer Apple wants, if you are not willing to look at bang/buck. Likewise, it would be hard to get a real estate agent to return your calls if you won't go above a 300/mo. mortgage payment.
What does your 500 bring to Apple? Nothing recent. E-Bay may be a good place to start, though.
I want Apple to continue to allow me to get my work done fast (in terms of workflow), and enjoy it when I do work. I am willing to pay a little more (well, apparently over 1000 more than you) to make my work/play more pleasant. I will budget for it, just as I budget for other major purchases, that represent major outlets of my time.
No one was insulting your intelligence. You came to this site with, let's be honest, a ridiculous statement. 500 is bottom of the barrel with any vendor, much less Apple.
OK. My fingers are tired.