Got an Apple MacBook Pro towards the start of the year. Issue was that closing the lid only puts the machine in stand by mode which still consumes power, so I wasn't getting as long a runtime as I would on my old HP nx6120 with a travel battery.
A Google search led me to Todd Huss's page below. This identified the pmset command as being quite useful. I followed the instructions and now have the MacBook hibernating when I close the lid. Since then I have been asked by a number of colleagues about this, so thought I better document it here.
I rebuilt the old HP nx6120 to run Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. Again noticed that I wasn't getting reasonable runtime, instead of the usual 8-10 hrs, I only got around 3-4hrs. A discussion with a colleague led me to Linux Laptop Tools. Again some "Googling" led to the Ubuntu power management which seemed to increase the runtime.