Re: I bought the last of the non retina range.
Fast is relative, the "crappy" 6 Gbps (not 3 on the 2011+ models, please do your homework properly) interface still gives a much faster boot time and app launch with an SSD over the original HDD.
Note: I am comparing these 2 items in terms of speed relative to each other.
Furthermore I expect to be able to replace/upgrade faulty RAM and HDDs myself, hence my desire for the older design. The lifespans of these machines are greatly increased by replaceable items at low cost.
Our last repair that Applecare picked up the bill for was £750 worth of logic board failure on a 2007 MBP 15, half the original cost of the Macbook.