I am a grad student writing history dissertation using MS Word and Zotero, internet, email, web browsing. Now on 2GG RAM MBA (late 2010). Am very nearsighted and need computer all the time for PDF/website reading and writing. Screen--clarity, readability (proper scaling), brightness--of highest importance. Which is better? Read your smackdown, but given the security scare with apple and other sloppiness, would be willing to go back to Windows for the better machine for my needs. Also, if I stick w/the rMBP, do i need 8GB ram? I have 2GB now, and am running SNL, but didn't upgrade for this reason. Right after I bought the 2GB, Apple went to Lion and ML, with optimal config of 4G. So should I spring for the 8GB or is it overkill? As far as storage, I still have 99.0 GB of SSD available (from 128) from Feb 2011 (purchase date). Please advise, as I love your site and your reviews, and trust your judgment.
Macs generally have much fewer security issues than Windows machines, if only because they're a less popular target. 4 gigs of RAM will be fine for the things you list, but if you want it to last more than 3 years and are worried about future proofing, then 8 gigs will give you piece of mind. It certainly doesn't sound like you need more than a 128 gig SSD if you still have that much space available on your current machine.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview