Where do you get your data?
"x86/x64 Macs are just Commodity PC parts and a Pretty GUI on a BSD ripoff. Both add nothing to Computer Science or Engineering, its Marketing. An upmarket Brando gadget."
First off, it's not a BSD ripoff, it's an evolution of the NeXT operating system, which was itself based on FreeBSD years before, released in 1989 for christ's sake. That's like saying Windows 7 is based on DOS. True yes, but a meaningless fucking statement. In 10.6, very, very little of that old code remains, having been replaced by Apple's own Core architecture, and a whole new GUI, and it runs on the Mach 3 microkernel, not the BSD kernel.
next, the chips are not exactly commodity. Apple does not use the generic Intel retail parts you find in Dells and HPs, they're using the cutting edge (at time of release) Core Architecture, and they include the VT, x64, and additional features in ALL the processors in all the products, where you may find some pretty powerful, and cheap, Dell systems, they often lack VT, making them useless for power users and incapable of supporting XP mode under Windows 7. Apple does not use Celeron, Centrino, i3, or other crap processors pushed by their competitors.
The DVD, HDD, memory, video card, yea, that's all commodity stuff. Always has been (except some early Macs based on SCSI hardware). There are no NON-comodoty components anymore in those classes unless you're talking high end CAD components and minicomputer subsystems costing thousands.
The build quality, you can't argue that. Apple has always been tops. Dell tries to compete with their Adamo line, but it's HUNDREDS more than an equivalent Apple ($400-700 more for the same parts, which don't even go as high in spec as the same apple model offers).
Then there's the "extras" that get thrown in no one notices. Webcams, high quality (not tinny) speakers, back lit keyboards, bluetooth in all models, MiMo dual band 5/2.4GHz wifi instead of generic 2.4GHz N, IR port for a remote, TosLink 5.1 fiber audio support in the same jack as the regular headphone jack, extremes in weight reduction without sacrificing rigidity and durability, extended life batteries getting 7+ hours (and yes, it really will play an MMO for 5+ hours with the second GPU active, we do that all the time, it's not a bullshit ideal battery life marketing number, and it will surf the web for over 7 hours), slot load drives. Apple sells their "commodity" machines in most cases under the same price Dell's equivalent hardware sells for, excluding these features. Currently, you can not BUILD a 27" iMac cheaper even excluding the OS and all the "bonus" parts, nor can you do that with a Mac mini, and no one competes on performance and price with the MacBook Pro line until you get into high performance 16 and 17" alien ware machines (and those often still cost more than a Mac).
They back it up with industry leading warranty pricing (and a warranty you can buy up to a YEAR later and still get full support!), a support department that isn't strictly break-fix focused (they'll assist you with a process as quickly as help you diagnose a problem), a support department where everyone you talk to speaks English as their first language, a support department that CALLS YOU, on schedule, instead of you waiting on hold. Oh, and you can bring it in to any Apple store or local retailer and in a lot of cases get same day repair, next day usually worst case, no shipping your system off and hoping UPS doesn't screw it up and waiting a week or more for it's return.
Run Windows on the Mac, sure, it simply increases the available software base. You can not do the same on PC hardware, run OS X that is, and if you want something that's even half as nice as using iLife, or to get your hands on powerful software like Aperture, Film Maker Pro, and a slew of other professional Mac-Only titles, then you're screwed. Even running a VM is better on a Mac than on a PC, as the two become completely integrated in a single experience, and do not require switching back and forth between guest and host and dealing with syncing files between them.
OS X is not cheap. The UPGRADE is cheap. Apple does not sell OS X in a box for a very good reason, their support groups would be OVERWHELMED. They'd get to 3-4 times the user base in a year or two. They simply can not staff up fast enough to do that, and Apple is not willing to sell the OS without including their industry leading support. They're completely comfortable to have 20-40% annual growth. In fact, that consistent, yet impressive, growth is a foundation of their stock price as well. We can COUNT on Apple doing better every year, and that would not be the case if they opened the OS to the market (which they have previously stated publicly would come in around $329 without iLife and $399 with it. (aka not cheap).
Upgrading from 10.4 to 10.6 does NOT require new software either. Yes, to take advantage of some new features, yes, and if you have some 10.3 or older software they again, yes, an upgrade MAY be required (comparability mode works quite well though). If you have a PPC with 10.4, then yes, some new software may not run, but you are not required to upgrade to it. Then again, if you have 10.4 or 10.3 native software that for some reason is not 10.6 ready, and there's not a free patch to make it compatible, and it doesn't work in compatibility mode, then why SHOULD you complain about having to buy an upgrade for software you've had at least 4 years if not 5??? Good luck going that long on Windows, all but a few programs made the transition from XP to 7... many didn't make it from XP to Vista. Office 2004 works fine under OS 10.6. So Does QuickBooks 2005. iLife needs an upgrade, but that's why it's INCLUDED in the 10.4-10.6 upgrade pack (as opposed to the 10.5-10.6 $29 pack).
Firefox is also decidedly NOT dropping 10.4 as an OS, they're dropping PPC as a hardware platform (which includes most people who have not upgraded to 10.6, though MOST can upgrade to 10.5 and maintain support...) They're dropping support because JAVA did. The PPC user base on 10.4 is less than 20% of Apple's base at this point. Also, what IS available for it isn't exactly disappearing, nor is Mozilla dropping PATCH support, just dropping PPC from NEW RELEASES.
If you're still on a PPC, and still on 10.4, than just like any XP user with a 4-5 year old machine, you're WELL AWARE that you're stuck until you replace hardware. No One bought a PPC Mac other than a Mac Pro after March 2006 (unless they went for a deal and bough back stock). No Macs with PPC were sold at all after Aug 2006, and those were the Mac Pro, which was a very small percentage of their sales. That means EVERY computer just cut off by Mozilla is at least 3.5 years old, most are well over 4 years old. That is by no means an outrage.
Where was this pouring of hatred for Microsoft, who's in a few weeks cutting off people from online play who bough games for the xBox 360 as recently as CHRISTMAS, and the vast majority of games which are 2-3 years old?
Can't "afford" an equipment upgrade? It;s a 4-5 year old machine. If you had not planned to replace it by now, you can't afford A COMPUTER. Macs cost the SAME to replace as PCs, however, they happen to have amazing resale value. I sold a PPC based iMac 17" with 1GHz processor and 768MB orf RAM about a year ago, it was 4.5 years old at the time, and it sold for $750. $750 is $100 shy of a new MacBook White. That's not exactly expensive for a brand new notebook with far more horsepower. Yea, it's not a $300 netbook, but a netbook is NOT a PC, it's a Piece of Crap. No one who is used to editing video, playing games, and managing tens of thousands of photos is going to settle for a $500 piece of shit low end Core2 Dell with no GPU, let alone a Netbook. That's NOT an upgrade. If you really need a new mac for critical software, and 10.6, you can pick one up lots of places under $500. (refurb Minis or backstock).