Recently, I made the decision to purchase a MacBook Pro. This is kind of a big deal because I have always been a PC guy and my needs for a computer have never coincided with the advantages of the Mac. For architecture school, I needed as much processing power as I could for as little money and PCs provided that. I wasn't concerned about battery life because I knew I would always be near an outlet most of the time when I'm working.
However, now that I am finally out of school my priorities have changed when it comes to getting a laptop. I still needed the high processing power, but it wasn't as critical. I'm primarily only going to be editing photos and some graphic design. Occasionally I might venture into architectural software for a competition. I'm not always going to be near an outlet when I do work, so battery life is important. I don't play computer games anymore either so that's not even on the list of needs. I'll be dealing with large files from photography and graphic design so fast file transfer is also a plus with a decent amount of storage space.
The 15" Retina MacBook Pro that I now own fits the bill: it has a quad core i7 processor, a 2gb discrete graphics card, a 512gb SSD, and a battery that can last over 7 hours. This is the higher priced base model of the 15" with a price of $2500. I would not have purchased this laptop for that price since an equivalent PC laptop that met those requirements would be around $1800-$2000 (and only with 1080p resolution). Fortunately, Apple's about to update this laptop so the price has dropped significantly. After some price drops with some coupon stacking, I was able to buy this for $1980--a satisfying purchase.
I have yet to do any photo editing with this laptop, but I am definitely looking forward to it!