[...] issues, from small ones, like the external monitor using the profile for the internal after waking from sleep -
Yes, this seems to be a bug in Leopard and, if I remember right, Tiger too (haven't test SL on a laptop yet) and a lot
of people suffer from it. It becomes second nature to check ColorSync Utility to see which profile is being used as the default.
to big ones, like total shifts from day to day where the profile for the external seems to be changed or corrupted.
I've never come across the big problem you list here but have come across situations where small movements in the cable and connector affect the colour of external displays when a VGA connection is being used.
I am curious to know if many photographers are using Mac laptops in a color managed situation - or do people shift over to towers for critical work?
Laptops seem as popular as ever, with gamuts and contrast improving (you'll probably have seen Rob Galbraith's recent article
) if you can accept the speed trafe-off.
The second problem you mention, though, is a deal-breaker and needs further investigation.