I will use a Mac laptop for one purpose - making imovies to create
mini-Dv and DVD versions on the road. My question is cost versus
practicality. I see that external storage is available, even up to
200GB ($400). Also DVD burners are for sale.

Would it therefore make sense to buy an older (how much older -
minimum and recommended) powerbook and just add on externally? There
must be a point where it becomes bersome or problematic yet to buy
the very best newest powerbook just isn't possible. What is a sensible
compromise? And perhaps there is a point where saving money hardly
makes sense - i.e. for $100 more I can get it built in.

Is there any technical problem using an external harddrive? In 2001 I
heard that they could be used for storage but were not suited for
taking footage from the a camcorder. I set up shop every three months
in a major city in Asia where I can store some peripherals, but the
bare bones for rough editing while travelling must fit (along with all
my professional and personal belongings) in a carry on suitcase plus a
small packsack.

P.S. I am not technically inclined, which I why I switched from PC. It
has to be major problem-free and and basically no hassle. In my
experience anything that isn't built in doesn't always work. I don't
tinker. I need reliability and economy. My experience is with imovie2
and a Cube - basically OK except for audio (and OS9 did crash
sometimes).

I have US$2000 to work with.