I finally picked out a birthday present...
I have long had a thing for computer bags. For a while, I went through them like water...but when I opted up to the 17 inch powerbook 2 years ago, most of them didn't fit. I purchased a black and orange hardshell Axio which has a sort of robocop look to it and affixed a perfectly color coordinate orange Mac sticker that has gathered more than it's share of double-takes in airports across the land.
After two years, the Axio still looks pretty good, but it weighs a ton and, well, one of us just turned 40. Plus, when I got it I was hauling around a lot more books. Lately it's just the powerbook, some cords, two moleskines and some pens...so it was time to go lighter.
Tonight I used my birthday cash to buy the coolest of the cool - a Timbuk2.
I bought my first Timbuk2 - a red and black messenger model - about four years ago and immediately took it to Burning Man. It kept my iBook safe but took the brunt of multiple dust storms and I never quite did get it clean again.
This one is considerably nicer - a laptop-specific version with a grab handle and inner sleeve. I'll keep the Axio for some traveling - the hardshell is way cool - but am going to convert to the two-tone Timbuk2 for everyday.