Online forums draw people with problems (why bother starting a thread to say that "all's well"?)... so it's easy to think that whatever part of the web you may hang out in must be home to the most troublesome computers on the planet! Take heart, Mac users--every company ships SOME bad units, but the latest stats in the March '05 issue of Consumer Reports put Apple on top in hardware reliablity AND tech support--for BOTH laptops and desktops--again. Apple has earned the top position year after year in every category, in large-scale, professional surveys. I would say that makes them the best of a bad industry, though Anyway, sometimes it's interesting to look beyond the anecdotes. FYI, the reliability survey results: Rate of DESKTOP computers "ever needing a repair or having a serious problem" (Not rate of DOAs or rate of warranty claims--this includes problems AFTER warranty too.) Sample size: 69,000 computers from 2000 to 2004, standardized to eliminate differences linked to age and use. Apple - Best (~ 1 in 8 computers has a problem) Sony (~ 1 in 6) Dell (~ 1 in 6) eMachines (~ 1 in 5) IBM (~ 1 in 5) HP (~ 1 in 4.5) Compaq (~ 1 in 4.5) Gateway - Worst (~ 1 in 4) Rate of LAPTOP computers "ever needing a repair or having a serious problem" (Not rate of DOAs or rate of warranty claims--this includes problems AFTER warranty too.) Sample size: 57,000 computers from 2000 to 2003, standardized to eliminate differences linked to age and use. Apple - Best (~ 1 in every 6.25 has a problem) Toshiba (~ 1 in 6) Sony (~ 1 in 6) IBM (~ 1 in 5) HP (~ 1 in 5) Dell (~ 1 in 5) Compaq (~ 1 in 4.5) Gateway - Worst (~ 1 in 4) Effectiveness of manufacturer tech support (Brands not listed had insufficient data. And yes, they mention that IBM is getting out of the business.) Sample size: 5000 desktops and 4500 laptops, surveyed from 2003 to 2004. Reader scores: 100 = all customers were "completely satisfied" 80 = "very satisfied" on average 60 = "fairly well" satisfied on average DESKTOP tech support: Apple - Best (76) Dell (57) Gateway (57) HP (52) Compaq - Worst (47) LAPTOP tech support: Apple - Best (84) IBM (69) Toshiba (58) Dell (57) Gateway (55) HP - Worst (54) Specific support factors Four categories rated: * Solved Problem * Waiting on Phone * Support Staff * Web Support Rating scale, better to worse: (++) (+) (0) (-) (--) (Same sample. (?) means insufficient data in that one category.) DESKTOP tech support categories: Apple - Best (++) (++) (++) (++) Gateway (0) (+) (0) (0) Dell (0) (0) (0) (0) HP (-) (0) (0) (-) Compaq - Worst (--) (--) (0) (?) LAPTOP tech support categories: Apple - Best (++) (++) (++) (++) IBM (+) (++) (+) (?) HP (0) (0) (0) (0) Dell (+) (-) (-) (0) Gateway (0) (-) (0) (?) Toshiba (-) (0) (0) (0) Sony (--) (-) (-) (?) Compaq - Worst (-) (--) (-) (-) Only Apple and IBM did at ALL well in those categories! PS. The surveys may be professional, but CR's subjective reporting still shows some odd bias here and there, and some factual errors too. They have a sidebar on how bundled software tends to be poor in quality--and mention how you may need to "think again" if you expect to edit movies out of the box--but they make zero mention of iLife! But hey, they've finally stopped complaining that Macs lack floppy drives And they've finally started to touch on how to choose between Mac and Windows. They make a brief (but pretty fair) statement of the advantages of a Mac--and then say that Macs cost hundreds more for the same features (which is often-repeated but clearly untrue unless you single out certain "number" features and ignore things like included expansion ports). But the specific Apple models they rate do score well.