After a lot of hemming and hawing, I finally decided to bite the bullet and upgrade my laptop (MacBook Pro 2.2 ghz) to the current version of OS X.
Having read a few horror stories online, I decided to do a clean install, and, while at it, replace my hard drive and upgrade my RAM.
I ordered a 500 GB drive and 4GB RAM from Other World Computing, (http://www.macsales.com) and they arrived when they said they would. One really cool thing about OWC is that they have installation videos right on their website.
I watched the videos, bought the appropriate torx screwdriver (T-6), and went to town. The hard drive & RAM replacement took less than an hour to complete. Everything worked first time through (a record I think). The OWC install video was very useful.
Then, I installed OS X 10.6 from the Apple upgrade DVD. The base install (no file/user migration) took a couple of hours. I had to partition and format the drive first, then run the installer. Glad I knew how to do that, I suspect a new user would have had a bit of an issue here.
The base install went well. The next part took a while.
The migration tool never was able to locate/calculate my User settings, but it found the Applications and Other stuff ok. So, had the migration assistant move the apps and ancillary stuff, then I had to manually move my user preferences, mail and associated files (over 90 GB) by hand.
This was complicated by the fact that I accidentally turned on secure deletes, which meant that deleting 141K files that were moved from my backup drive by mistake, took all night to delete.
I ran the Apple Software Updater and that took about 5 hours to download and then install.
This morning, I finished up moving my email files over, and getting the licensing back on my software.
Everything seems to run faster, and the new OS seems just a hair slicker. All in all, worth the $300 for the upgrades. I now feel like I have room to play with video and audio recording (yay!) and burn those DVD's that the Olson's have been asking for.
Basically, everything worked predictably, if slowly. So, a successful upgrade.