There's been a theme to my wish list choices over the years, in so much as I've basically always wanted the same two or three things: a top-end SLR, a really nice laptop, and a splendiferous TV. And as the years have gone by I've evidently not been deemed a sufficiently good boy by for me to get any of them - I know, who'd have thunk! So it is again that I'm hoping Santa will be delivering me two of these three items.
This year's laptop choice combines portability, style, ease of use, and power like no other: it's the Macbook Air 11in.
Now the point to remember here is that this is a wish list. Were I spending my own pennies I'd find the Air to be too expensive for what it is (just as Hugo points out in his review). However, as something to desire it ticks all the boxes. I love the styling and build quality, the smaller size compared to the 13in Air is very useful, the screen is class leading, the five hour battery life is a bit low but adequate, the CPU is powerful enough, and the 3D graphics processor will even let me play some games.
I could actually take or leave the multi-touch single-button touchpad and the MacOS operating system, being a fairly dyed-in-the-wool Windows user, but that hardware is enough to make this a prime candidate for something that I really want but will probably never have.
I've always fancied myself as a bit of a photographer and for years toyed with the idea of getting a DSLR, finally buying the Sony A200 a couple of years ago. I enjoyed it greatly but fairly quickly learned its limitations (it didn't help that it was nicked a couple of months ago, either). The next logical step up (and across - I want to move away from Sony) would be to get something like the Canon 550D, with its Live View and video modes, much larger pixel count and better high ISO control. However, given as this is a wish list I'm going to aim a bit higher...
The Canon 5D MkII is the baby of the company's full-frame DSLR range, meaning it's the smallest camera with the larger 35mm sensor for exceptional quality photos. While it's still a large, heavy camera, the weight and space saved will nearly always be preferable to me than the extra bulk and features the highest-end models, such as the Canon 1D MkIV, possess. Great overall performance and superb video shooting capabilities (with niceties like external mic inputs) also make this a great all-rounder as well as a pro-level photo taking tool.
Inspired by Cliff's mention of a new guitar, I've also taken on a musical theme for my wildcard this year. As a fellow guitarist I could happily choose from a self-tuning Gibson Les Paul for sheer ease of use, one of any number of seven string guitars to get my low down and dirty groove on, a quality classical, or a compact portable acoustic to bolster my collection. However, I've decided to to leave the guitar goodness to Cliff.
Instead, my choice came down to two things: a nice digital piano or an electronic drum kit. And while I really could do with getting back up to par with my piano playing, I've always been jealous of the drummers I've played with over the years as they get to beat the living daylights out of their kits. Now it's my turn! Or at least it will be if all this year's misdemeanours manage to slip under Santa's nose.