Thinking About Getting a Mac for the First Time


So I've never owned a Mac before but I'm looking to get a new laptop now and want to consider it. Specifically, I'm looking for the Macbook Pro with Retina Display (8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD) but before I buy it, I'd like to ask a few questions.

1. I will still put Windows 8 and Ubuntu on the machine along with OS X so are there any issues in doing this or should I know of anything beforehand? One of the main reasons I'm looking for a mac is because you have to jump through some loops to dual-boot Linux because of UEFI. I know that people have gotten around this but it mostly seems to be hit and miss and I don't really want to jump through any loops when it has no guarantee. (Although, if you have any sure-fire resources, please share them!).

2. Is this the right time to buy a macbook pro with retina (13") display? I don't want the situation in which after buying one, 3 months later, a new version comes out. When does Apple typically refresh their macbook pro lineup and what are the typical changes (just new processors or are there any other changes?).

3. Are there any performance issues with Windows 8 on a mac?

4. What are the benefits of macs over windows 8 PCs?

5. Anything else I need/should know?

6. Do you recommend any other ultrabooks other than a macbook pro?

Thanks in advance!