I went out the week old Suburban Square Apple Store in Ardmore today and got a chance to play around with a MacBook. Here are my impressions:
I naturally gravitated toward the black models. The white one seems too iBook-y while the black ones look really slick. The black model didn't feel like a consumer notebook like the white ones did. That said, I don't really see myself paying the extra $150 for the black finish.
The screen is absolutely gorgeous. The glossiness and high DPI made it look better than the 17" iMac that was directly behind the MacBook I was playing with. The screen isn't as reflective as those I've have seen on PC notebooks, but that may just be the difference in lighting between the Apple Store and Best Buy et al. Even still, I found it difficult to "create" reflections by rotating the MacBook towards a light source. The viewing angle is pretty good and I didn't notice any color distortion from angled viewing like I do on my PowerBook. My only complaint is that it the 1280×800 resolution feels "squished" vertically.
The machines are fast. All of the 2GHz models I played with were loaded with 2GB of RAM and they were extremely snappy. They played 1080p trailers without stuttering and I was impressed that Exposé worked fine while the trailers were playing. The integrated graphics work fine for anything OS X throws at it except for games. I'm not sure that the GMA 950 is supported by Vista's Aero Glass interface, so that's definitely something to look into if you want all the UI niceties that Vista will offer.
The MacBook isn't in the same portability class as its 12" predecessors. These clock in at 5.2 lbs, .4 lbs lighter than the MacBook Pro. Taking into account the fact that they come in a smaller package, they are denser and actually felt heavier than the MacBook Pros. I noticed that the MacBooks are heavier hinge-side, so it felt lighter when holding hinge-side as opposed to latch-side with one hand.
This is a wonderful little machine and I would have picked one up had it discrete graphics. For those not wanting to play games on it, however, the MacBook is a worthy iBook replacement and competes well with other manufacturer's offerings. Anyone looking for serious power is no longer relegated to the desktop or to a larger notebook.