A Little Tablet Help?

I really would like a Surface Pro. The pen input would be amazing for school, and the fact that I could play some games on it makes it a really nice sounding prospect. I have a 17" MacBook Pro that I could trade in on Amazon for $900, but I'd still have to shell out a few hundred more to get the Surface. Also the Helix looks pretty amazing, but it's definitely out of my price range. Anybody have any thoughts on other similar Windows 8 tablets with Pen Input and are powerful?