Re: Computer Setups
I wouldn't necessarily recommend a 5400 RPM drive to others but in my case I specifically shopped for one when I replaced the original HDD because of the slight battery life advantage. My interface offers direct monitoring which helps mitigate any major latency issues. In fact, I've never had any issues with latency on either of my main recording setups (including the old iMac) but it is definitely something to be wary of.
As for the Linux question - yes. I'm a fan too. The only major issue to check that there are drivers available for your interface. I doubt mine would work in Linux (at least with the vendor's drivers - no idea if replacements are available). Do you know if there is an ASIO4ALL equivalent for Linux?
Part of the reason I like Reaper is the fact that it is cross-platform. It's a very good DAW and I've been recommending it for a long time.
Give Me The Tea and Nobody Gets Hurt