Yes, you could probably cobble up some software/hardware combination on a PC that could cost you less. Do you have the time? Does $300 or $400 you might save spread out over the life of the computer (say three years) make it worth it? Paying for style? Why not? Every car doesn't have to be a model T.
Are you going to develop software (like woy?) or do some extreme gaming? How much?
With computer prices these days, I'm surprised this is so much of a decision. If you don't like it...ebay it for a small loss.
Buying (and selling) a computer is much less of a problem than buying a car or even a large screen tv.
Yes, I'm a mac user and a bit bias (four macs in the house + 1 PC). Macs have had their ups and downs. But "working" with them is a pleasure these days. The iLife series is excellent (comes with the computer).
iPhoto for organizing and actually DOING something with all those photos.
We make DVDs of all our trips (with iDVD/iPhoto, music from iTunes)...the family LOVES them (especially the grandparents)
iMovie...same thing (put together video clips).
iWeb...actually did a travel blog. The whole family followed our adventures.
and Garageband (which I admit never using) would probably be something you could get into.
If you get into this stuff, you WILL spend money (additional software/services/supplies, upgrades, etc.). It's like any other hobby.
Listen, if all you are going to do is browse and email...get a cheap PC with a good anti-virus program. You'll save a ton of money. Want to build one? Sounds like a fun hobby project (not time effective, however - do you also change your own motor oil?)
Otherwise, get a Mac (or get two...your wife is going to need one of her own eventually anyway).
Anyway...good luck and enjoy whatever you do purchase.
"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."
BTW, the computer will primarily be the wife's, but I'm paying for it, so she's letting me make the decision. But as you pointed out, there seems to be only one decision to make.
Well, it couldn't be a computer thread without "platform fundamentalism" rearing it's ugly head.
Back to the question:
Parallels and making sure the peripherals and software titles you want to use work. Most do but I've read about a few things like smartphones that have trouble syncing. They seem to be pretty good about interfacing with their customers and improving compatibility.
Absolutely, you can do those things. I'm not familiar with the iLife-style packages on the PC but for doing audio either with Garageband all the way to Logic, there are many alternatives. Nuendo, Sonar, Cakewalk, Acid Pro (probably the closest thing to Garageband).I guess we have sort of fallen for the IMac packaging. We are just sick of the endless number of cables and power chords that seem to follow every PC. Not to mention, my wife goes nuts about the space a tower takes up and the dust is collects.(Yes she is a bit nuts overall) The wife is in love with a lot of the ILife programs and I am interested in doing some recording. Can I do those kind of things on a PC without tons of different software titles?
Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions about specific music soft or hardware.
I would again encourage you to spend some times using a Mac to see if you really like the way it does what you want to do.We looked at the PC all-in-one computers, but they just don't add up to the IMac i.e. no 24" screens and the processors tend to be a step below. Believe me, I have done the comparison between what I can get for $1700 at Apple and what I can get from Dell or HP standard desktop and that may be what's holding me back.
"Bring on Rod Stupid!"
Suck it up cupcake.