For what it's worth, I've gone through a similar process. Waffled for a while (guess it's my nature!) but finally pulled the trigger when I saw a plain Mini 9 going for $179 "returned new"; coupled with a %15 off coupon, that got me a 4GB / 512MB black mini 9 for $165 shipped w/ tax. Reading up on here, I knew I needed a memory upgrade; ordered 2GB from newegg (arriving today).
I also knew I needed to upgrade the SSD
; after doing the research, I ordered a 16GB Runcore from MDD; upon reading further on the performance, I realized that the 16GB has a lower performance rate than the 32GB, so I ordered that one. The availability thread on this forum made me worried about the ship dates on the 32GB Runcore from MDD, because of not getting really good estimates on where I was in the queue and how many items were being shipped, so I made the jump and made the purchase from timfatefvn on eBay; that one shipped yesterday; hopefully delivery this week! Cancelled the MDD orders (which I might not have done, and might not have ordered from eBay, if I knew that I would be in this week's shipment; however, MDD apparently doesn't give that information, so I went with the solid expectation of delivery this week).
So the upshot: delivery of the memory today, the Mini 9 tomorrow, SSD
later this week (hopefully). End system: Black Mini 9, 2GB memory, 32GB Runcore SSD
. Going to keep Ubuntu on it, because I love Ubuntu (and despise Windoze). Whole thing ended up under $350 with all costs, and I expect it to be quite the little speed demon! Should be a very serviceable desktop replacement, as well, with a goodly-sized external monitor and wireless keyboard / mouse. Not the speediest, I know; but certainly quick enough for most of my everyday computing tasks, and when I want to go anywhere, I can just unplug it, and take it anywhere I go. Pretty much, for me, the holy grail of computing!