i think sandy bridge comes out in not even a week if you arent rushing it unless you prefer AMD you should take a look into it they where able to push em to almost 5.3ghz on air with the i5s
My conclusion to the Intel debate awaits hard numbers in the wild, having 6 real cores kind of makes me horny, and OpenCL may keep (AMD) a relevant platform in the future as software is so grossly unoptimised.
I'm also a college student with a programming major. I've heard bad things about SB and linux. My perception of Intel is a bunch of people who like to golf, drive around in BMWs, and spend money on lawn treatments. It wasn't until recently they release a unlocked processor that isn't $1000 and the massive heat issues with the P4s still haunt me.
Overall I vote with my money. I'd like to see the underdog stick around and keep prices in check. AMD may not be the cutting edge all the time but I've had more good than bad experiences and until otherwise I'll buy their products.