For $1000, you get the low-end, plastic MacBook. Any Mac is, by all means, a good computer, but considering the price difference between the White MacBook and the aluminum models, and the performance and spec bumps, I could never bring myself to take it. If you wanted a cheaper MacBook, many online retailers are reselling last generation hardware at prices as low as $800-$900 for an extremely low-end MacBook. For a new Mac, that's not bad at all.
I have seen both the old and new MacBooks, and I think that the new ones are quite amazing. Huge improvements. The new trackpad is a little different, but the unibody enclosure and NVIDIA graphics are very nice. I have seen friends who have had white MacBooks, and the lesser build quality will show over time. One MacBook I saw was chipping and cracking on the front, and the palm-rest areas were completely discolored from use. With an aluminum MacBook (or MacBook Pro), I have found that a soft cloth and some polish will clean up almost any regular marks from use. If you care about that sort of thing, you would be better off with the aluminum model. Also, be aware that the aluminum models are very easy to upgrade (Ex: hard drive, RAM) and are compatible with the new Apple displays. I think they are also lighter, use "greener" LED displays, and a little thinner. Huge overhaul from the previous lineups.
One problem with the new ones is the fact that FireWire is gone. The white MacBook still has the FireWire 400 port, which will allow you to use a compatible camcorder or hard drive on it. If you need that, get an older MacBook. If you can't manage to opt for an aluminum machine, then get the low-end one so you can still enjoy the Mac OS. A plastic MacBook will still work fine. Good luck.
I am struggling to afford it, but I just can't bring myself to buy a PC, now that I have an apple desktop. I really can't afford to go with the higher end laptops, just want some opinions if it is worth it.