At present I still work on a MacBook Pro 17" (early 2009), which I ordered at the day of the presentation at the MacWorld in January 2009. This is just the second Mac I own. My first Mac was a 17" Powerbook I brought in 2003. It is time for another update. Actually a new machine is due for several years already, but I struggle with the options available.
A recent visit at an Apple Store in Munich was disillusioning once again. Apple does not provide me with any upgrade I can comfort myself with. They have progressed in a direction I refuse to join. While making the machines thinner and thinner, Apple seems to have completely lost the vision for users needing a workhorse. I'm just joining the chorus: The keyboard with the new butterfly mechanism is crap. I tried it, I cannot work with it. Also I cannot make myself comfortable to the touch bar missing a proper escape key any vi user just needs to have. I'm also curious about the removal of the inverse T for the cursor keys which most manufacturers have agreed to.
In my opinion it is unquestionable for a machine labeled "pro" to allow for the hard drive being exchangeable. Soldering it to the mainboard is just irrational. Currently I have a 500GB SSD and a 750 GB HD in my machine (having removed the CD drive years ago). I exchanged and upgraded my drives multiple times already, once due to a HD crash I had a few years ago. I survive it with ease as I just went to a store, brought a new drive and restored from a time machine backup. All done within a few hours. This was just perfect and as it should be.
One more thing while I'm grumbling anyway: I'm very angry about the missing matte screen option which got lost years ago already. Still, and given the fact, that most of the time I work on an external display, I could arrange myself following the spirit of the time in all that (even the hard drive). Except for the keyboard.
I'm already close to switch to a Thinkpad but I still hope for the better: A MacBook Pro SE. While the hardware of my present machine is already discontinued, I can only hope that it won't break in the near future, before the last macOS 10.11 supported on this machine becomes unmaintained as well. Maybe, hopefully, Apple will release a MacBook Pro SE along with the Mac Pro already announced for 2018. Hope dies last.