My mom is inheriting the IBook, since she bought it for me and is likely buying or paying for most of the new one as well-she's not happy about it, but I think it will be okay as long as the next one gets me through three years. I think for right now, I'm more concerned about adding the stress of an inconvenient/unusable computer to 1L. I feel like the last thing any of us are going to need right around exam time is a beta program that does not want to behave!
here's what's making me feel less worried about the whole beta issue. I'll have an entire semester to get used to the ins and outs (and the full bootcamp program might be released before the holidays!). I feel like if I use windows frequently throughout the semester, and never have any problems, I will feel fine on test day. if, however, i'm having tons of issues, i will definitely just rent a computer for exams.
Also, I think that problems with bootcamp would manifest themselves during the windows set-up, rather than afterwards once windows is up and running. (I could be wrong about this, but that's my understanding.) So if something went wrong during installation, you can just delete and start over again, without doing any damage to the OSX side of things.
anyway, i guess there's definitely a bit of risk involved, but I have enough confidence in Apple to take the plunge. I've been reading a ton of reviews and things like that online and in different newspapers, and pretty much all of them have had high praise for macs running Windows through bootcamp (beta).