Ragnar Dan wrote:
Yeah, your observations match what I've seen. And it makes it a question for me whether it's worthwhile doing, rather than just picking up a MBP and Parallels or some such. The Retinas are at such a premium though, and the older versions seem so comparatively crappy in vertical resolution that it makes it somewhat difficult to contemplate doing. Ah well...
It's really not worth it. With the work that goes into these systems, you could be running a Linux distro like Slackware, Arch, or Gentoo which would require about the same amount of work, but the OS won't be an unwilling prisoner of the hardware. The might be the odd piece of hardware that isn't recognized, but nothing is going to break because of it.
The MBPw/R are really high-end pieces of equipment. Only the Dell Precision M3800 gets close, but even then it's missing the PCIe SSD, Thunderbolt, and Apple Trackpad. I bought my wife a 13" MBPw/R for Christmas, and it is a really nice piece of kit.
You could go the refurbished route. That's how I got my 12" Powerbook all those years ago.