Buy the cheapest Macbook you can get. DO NOT upgrade the RAM through Apple. Get it here instead: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/MacBook/DDR2/
Ignore all the haters. Anyone on OCN that has a Mac actually knows their strengths and how powerful a Mac can be.
Most people don't buy Macs to "look cool" either. They buy them because they're not computer-gurus like some of us. They don't know how to clean internet cache, or defrag a harddrive, or install drivers, ect... so they need something easy to use. With a Mac, you literally turn it on and go. Everything is installed right out of the box. They also perform maintenance tasks weekly, monthly, and yearly so the user never has to worry about defragging or cleaning anything out.
Secondly, NO viruses and NO spyware. No need for Avast, Norton, AVG, Spybot S&D, Adaware, or any of that crap. He can use his Mac in class, then browse whatever the hell he wants on the internet (even crap-tons of pr0n if he wishes) and not have to worry about any of the junk thrown around on the internet bogging down his system. He can practically download any file, or open any eMail attachment without it injecting some back door trojan. I sure as hell wouldn't do my online banking from my PC.
My desktop rig (primarily gaming) will always be PC, just because I know how to build them for cheap. However, my laptop (work, other important stuff) will always be a Mac because I can trust them on their reliability and security.
Get one, you'll love it!