My old Macbook Pro has been great to me, but after four years of use it's stopped working, and the cost I've been given for a repair from both the Apple store and a third-party second opinion has been around $1,300. So instead of spending 1.3k to fix a four-year old laptop, I've gone on the market for a new Macbook Pro. I've got a few questions that you folk may be knowledgeable about.
1) Are solid-state drives in a Macbook Pro worth it yet? If not, and considering that the Macbook Pro line is due for an update, might they be worth it soon? I'm assuming shelling out for a SSD would mean a machine that would run quieter, load faster, and last longer, but with sacrifices made to storage size and cost. Does anyone have any experience with solid-state drives?
2) Is 8GB of RAM ever necessary? Right now the default option for the Macbook Pro is 4GB, with an option to double that for $600. I'd be going through a third party, so I could likely get the extra RAM for maybe $300. I tend to multi-task quite a bit, and my old laptop became noticeably and annoyingly slower at those times. But that was with 2GB of RAM. Has anyone ever found 8GB to be necessary for a laptop?
(Bonus question! The Macbook Pro is approaching a refresh. It's about 60 days overdue, actually, and there are a few rumors it could even get the refresh this coming Tuesday. This means I'm forcing myself to use the library until the refresh happens. However, this has been a huge pain, so I've been debating shelling out $300 for a cheap netbook if the refresh isn't announced. Does anyone have any experience with these kinds of things? I've spent some time with a few of them at my University bookstore, and they just seem so slow/small that I'm afraid I'd be throwing money away on something that would only frustrate me. Is it easy to get used to these things, or should I just stay away given my initial impressions?)
tl;dr: What have your experiences been with SSDs; how much RAM is too much RAM; and are cheap netbooks as shitty as they look?