Originally Posted by NotAgain
If your fingers are "small and delicate" you absolutely want to avoid the Apple keyboards then. They are low-profile scissor switch keyboards that have a relatively high actuation force, and very limited travel distance. The keyboard is rigidly made, and being rubber-dome keyboards, you are required to bottom out on the keys when typing.
This means you will be putting a lot of force into your fingers when typing with them.
As someone who has been experiencing pain in their fingers from typing all day, I can tell you that buying a scissor-switch keyboard was the worst decision I made, as it exacerbated the problems considerably. (I had been using Macs a lot, and bought a Logitech K750 for my PC)
The Apple keys are also completely flat, which I find horrible to type on. I have never liked them since they switched away from the old Silver MacBook Pro keyboard design, which had sculpted keys and from memory at least, required less force to actuate. (or maybe they were just less rigid)
It's interesting, because I just recently went to use one of our MacBooks here, after having not typed on one for a couple of months since getting my HHKB2-S and I literally couldn't type on it. I was all over the keyboard, because there's no tactile feedback for where your fingers are (flat keys) and missing keystrokes.
While a Topre keyboard is outside of your budget (I find them to be the nicest on your fingers, as they are tactile with a medium force required to actuate, and have rubber to "cushion" your fingers if you do bottom out - though being mechanical, you are not required to) I would definitely recommend a mechanical keyboard over any of the low profile rubber dome/scissor-type keyboards, which all have a low travel distance, high actuation force, and offer no cushioning for your fingers.
A standard mechanical switch has a medium-to-low actuation force, has 4mm of travel, and actuates at 2mm so you are not required to bottom out. And even if you do bottom out, it's softer on your fingers due to the extended travel distance. PCB-mounted switches are also softer than plate-mounted, and people have also reported that putting small rubber O-rings on the caps also softens the force when bottoming out. You will also be a much better typist on sculpted keycaps than the horrible flat Chiclet keys of a notebook keyboard.
While the keys may look similar to your Microsoft Comfort Keyboard, which is a rubber-dome keyboard, a mechanical keyboard feels nothing like that to type on.