I finally broke down and bought myself a new sleek, black MacBook. Yay! It showed up yesterday and after installing some RAM and applications, its showing what a powerful beast it really is. I am ripping a DVD — for archival purposes only — usng HandBrake. On my 1GHz 12" Powerbook this would take 4 - 7 hours. HandBrake is reporting that it will complete the task in ~45 min! Woohoo!
Looking forward to installing Parallels and playing with VM images tomorrow... perhaps. In the meantime, there is a problem with the Ethernet networking which may cause me to reinstall everything from scratch. That may be tomorrow's task du jour, if I can't find another solution tonight.