Old thread, but fyi. My son wanted a mac for college. A friend suggested Craig's list for a second hand macbook. Mac owners tend to be careful, well off, and upgrade often, she said. So around Xmas, you can get a 2 yr old machine at half price.
Hmmm. I thought. Asked the IT guy at work. He recommended MacBook pro post late 2009 with the duo core and that they were still pretty impressive machines. Don't get the air, as it's a big plastic sandwich that can, t be fixed or upgraded.
Went on Craig's list after discussing with my son. Found a nearby guy, late 2010 MacBook pro, upgraded to 8 GB and a 500GBP hard drive. Not a scratch. Original box, manuals and windows office 2011... $750.
Did the deal in starbucks, and he's super happy. Fast and a sweet machine.
Half price of new.
I used a checklist from the net on what to look for, test, etc. Took about 15 mins. But you could tell right away he didn't get the original box from the back of a car.
Would really recommend this.