just to be clear, the base MB model only has a combo drive. so CD-RW and DVD-ROM, which means u'd have to go w/ the $1199 model to get the burner.
a bit of a tangent...another thing to consider is the nature of the 2 companies. Dell is basically the walmart of computer makers. in reviewing the quarterly financial results, Dell has the largest marketshare, likely maintained in large by the sheer amounts of volume they push out. and yet their profits and growth were basically stagnant compared to HP, Gateway, and Apple. translation, they have to continue the volume/razor-thin-margins approach to maintain marketshare, but it take its toll on profitability. again, it's an aside, but for me at least i tend to shy away from walmart-like organizations which focus on volume at all costs.