>>That does help…I guess it would help to know the budget which is around 1500. I agree on the 7200 but it would only allow me the 7200 at 320 GB vs the 500 GB at 5400…
OK, it does help a lot to know your budget.
Are you looking at an external hdd for data, or are you needing to do it all on one internal drive? I would strongly recommend getting an external drive for data, and as fast as you can. Even if you cannot afford it right now, you could always migrate that way.
Data is huge. If youget a machine with a1394 (Firewire) port (which is fairly standard),an external firewire drive for data will really speed things up for you.
I hope that helps.