In the "just over a thousand dollars" range, you could get yourself a wicked Windows laptop, or a nice Mac laptop. Macs are nicer, but yeah, for under $1500, you're not going to get a wicked Mac, unfortunately. I prefer windows computers though - over the last decade, the Mac/Windows musical playing field has leveled out to the point where PC versions are usually better-maintained than mac versions. And unless you depend on software piracy to find programs, you'll have no trouble finding mac apps. Macs have nicer built-in soundcards, too, but since you'll be likely getting an outboard sound device, that shouldn't be a deciding factor. I've done production on Windows computers and Macs for years and the only noticeable differences I've noticed are that Macs have nicer soundcards but crash more. But now that OS X is getting more stable and Windows is going from bad (XP) to worse (Vista), the stability situation is levelling out a bit. If you get a Windows laptop, make sure to get it with XP and NOT Vista. That's just general advice - Vista's not good for any kind of production environment, it's still too unstable as of this writing.