SSD for sure. The 2.6 is probably fine for normal humans, but he said he's going to be doing video stuff. That means he should also get the i7.
Macs hold up well, you can expect to use it longer than you would a cheap Dell laptop. So I've found its worth going for the higher specs. My CoreDuo 15" MBP from 2006 still works great. -- AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011 Rethink Billable.