I never had any doubt that Mac's were solid machines and that OSX was a solid OS. But I always considered myself OS agnostic, for the most part. When I got my 13" MB I was quite impressed, but not blown away impressed. It worked well and for a while I used it for my main computer, attaching it to an LCD for more screen real estate. But slowly, it begin to show signs of it's true color, which was really just a lack of real power.
Since then I bounced around between Windows 7 and Ubuntu on a beefier machine and was happy enough. Then I got my i7 MBP the other day. I'll never use another non-mac again, if I can help it. This thing just rocks. Sure, it has it's own small issues (gets pretty hot, the sharp edges on the wrists while typing, etc) but all in all Apple just makes a solid product. It really does *just work*. I see myself slipping into that fanboy mentallity, but I'm trying to resist it. I still am under-impressed with the iPad and some of Apple's business antics go completely against my own personal feelings towards how technology should be shared, but this machine is so flipping sweet.
And for the record...I actually purchased a Sony Laptop with Windows 7 in an attempt to save money. By the time I paid for the machine, anti-virus software (yes, I know there are free ones, but really?), paid to have all the Sony crapware removed and then the warrenty, guess what....It was the same price as the MBP. Both had very similar hardware. MBP has better CPU, Sony had better GC. So I brought the Sony home, literally spent the next 4 hours setting it up with everything I needed then decided I hated it. Drove to a different store, bought the MBP, returned the Sony, and have ZERO regrets.
I'm not saying everyone should buy a Mac. And I think Windows 7 and Ubuntu are good OS's. But at this point, It would be really easy for me to become a zealot and shout from the roof tops that MBP's and OSX are *the* benchmark for usability, stability, and just sheer awesomeness.
Recently I had to use a proprietary bit o' software that runs only on Windo$e. I thought about going the whole 'parallels' route, but in the end I dusted off a 6-yr. Toshiba laptop and cranked up XP, got a newish version of office (M$ has COMPLETELY destroyed what was left of EXCEL), and got the software working...
The entire experience was painful. Beyond just the normal pain of buying and installing software. I find EVERY interaction with Windo$e to be irritating. And it's ugly. And it feels like M$'s hand is in my pocket. And it's unintuitive. In short, it's crap.
Then I go back to my MBP and, as others have said, it just works. And the OS disappears, and I just do stuff. No muss, no fuss, I just get to focus on doing stuff...
Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
I think it's a bit unfair to judge Windows based on XP. It is, after all, 2010, and there have been 2 versions of Windows since XP. Windows 7 actually isn't that bad and looks pretty good, in my opinion. Also, considering the cost of Apple products using terms like M$ and Windo$e is a bit antiquated. I do not think they are too expensive (bang for buck) but they aren't cheap either.
I agree totally about OSX just working and getting the OS out of the way. And I love my MBP. I think it is loads better than Windows.
It is sometimes tough to explain, that what really makes the Macs a better machine, besides just well built, is the user experience. I can even say that I type faster on my Macbook because of the keyboard. I mean they take their time and really find the things that goes above and beyond other machines.
People always harp on the price, but when I know I get a 5-10 times better machine that I was getting on another Laptop with a different OS, I was getting it cheaper. So a Windoze Laptop at $400 would be actually 2000 - 4000 dollars to match the Mac.
Plus, I can run Windoze and Ubuntu on this machine and cost maybe $150 more. I get three machines in one that is 5-10 times better. I call that a tremendous cost savings.
Value people value.
I am testing out the Belkin Dual Band Wireless-N Gigabit router, and it seems to be like Apple, in the little things that add up. For instance, the network cable and power cord are already connected to the device in the box. I know that seems like something really dumb, but it shows that they were thinking, and that I feel that they would also think about the device itself in terms of "it just works". The instructions are three images for three steps. 1) connect network cable to your internet router, plug in to wall. Put in CD. They even have this cardboard cut out with the devices SSID and password that you can put in a little slot at the bottom of the router. This is like what Apple does, is think what the users are going to do and make it really easy for them to do it.