Woo hoo! My new MacBook showed up two days early--July 3rd instead of July 5th. Here's my notes on setup (hardwre and software) and other observations.
I bought a base ($1099) MacBook and upgraded it to 1 GB RAM. (+$100) It came with a fully-charged battery which I'm still using. It's been in my lap for hours and doesn't feel uncomfrtably warm. I even ran all the software updates and it was fine. My previous laptop was an 800 MHz G3 iBook.
/Library/Printers/* (2 GB)
/Library/Audio/Apple Loops (2.5 GB)
/Library/Application Support/GarageBand/ (1.9 GB)
T/K: Terminal, Activity Monitor
This thing is pretty nice. I made a 22 minute movie in iMovie, then moved to iDVD. I saved the DVD as a disk image, then used Handbrake to convert the disk image to an MP4. (Why not just export from iMovie? Because when you export from iMovie at 640x480, it's interlaced. Or at least, it that was the case in iMovie 04. I just noticed that iMovie HD now offers 'deinterlace' in the Export options (under 'size') so I'll have to check that out.*) Compared to a 2 GHz dual-CPU G5 PowerMac with 1 GB RAM, the MacBook took longer to do the initial work in iDVD (32 minutes vs. 24 minutes) but the conversion with Handbrake was faster--11 minutes vs. 14. Sure, that's more time overall, but that's very impressive performance from machine with 9% less CPU speed.
* OK, just did a bit of testing. Though it sounds clunky and roundabout, this is still the way to go for me. I got better results using Handbrake than I got with iMovie--9.5 MB vs. 9.7, and the result looks better, believe it or not. Medium-quality H264 looks great but it's 40% larger and I know from ripping DVDs that I'm happy with the quality I get from Handbrake. Ooh--OK, just did a bit more testing. Noticed a box on the H264 settings page where I can restrict the data rate to 1500--the same as I get from Handbrake. Same file size, looks better. I'll have to look at this some more--and maybe look at how Handbrake does H264. First test: HB's 264 looks better than HB's MPEG4 and is 0.3MB smaller.