So I believe i would like a new messenger bag to carry around papers (up to around a 1.5" stack of papers at various times), a book or magazine, a few odds and ends (sunglasses, Verizon MiFi card, Shure headphones) and my 15" Macbook Pro. This will mostly be my bag for work and trips around town. The computer will not be in it every day, maybe about 50% of the time.
I'm currently using my partner's old be.ez LEvertigo bag (http://www.be-ez.com/prod_levertigo_15bkpumpkin.html). The one great benefit of this bag (besides the sleek styling) is that I have quick-and-easy access to my laptop, just pull open the flap and there it is. However, the construction sucks, there's no room inside at all, and there are approximately -1 useful pockets. I'll be happy to get rid of it.
I really would like to get an ID, but as we all know, you can't put the 4Z Brain Cell in there, and that's the one that fits my laptop. I could just get a cache for the laptop, but I'm a bit concerned that it will be annoying to have to pull out the cache+laptop and then put it all back in. This is especially true if the bag loses shape, since everything else in there is just papers. So... an attached laptop case seems more convenient.
My next option would be the Ego and the 4Z Brain Cell. From what I can see online, however, it just doesn't seem to be as "polished" for work, styling-wise, as the ID. Plus, I keep worrying it's too big. I like the fact that I can quickly swing my current little bag around for quick access.
So... ID with Cache or Ego with Brain Cell - any advice? I may well end up going the "order both and return one" route, but I figure y'all might be willing to tell me what you think as well.
And finally, as a bonus question, Q-AM vs. Absolute? How well does the absolute work as an across-the-body messenger bag strap? I think I'd prefer the Absolute for the comfort, and I don't ride a bike or anything, but the Q-AM seems more built for this purpose.
Any help is appreciated!