I have been authorized by corporate to purchase a new personal workstation with a budget of up to $3000 CAD ($2750? USD). I can put it to anything my heart desires (laptop, desktop, etc) with the strict instructions to file all the receipts and properly filled out paper work. Primarily this machine will be used for a variety of tasks from the mundane programming (Zend Studio/Visual Studio 2005/Dreamweaver CS3) to the more intense (Fireworks CS3, Photoshop CS3) to the more extreme (3D Gaming (STALKER, Counter-Strike, Starcraft 2!)). <background!>Apple has always been my first choice. I purchased an Apple Macbook C1D days after their launch as it had everything I wanted in a laptop (size, features, price) with the ability to duel boot. Upon receiving the machine I promptly installed XP and didn't look at OSX for months. Before my wedding/honeymoon in the Dominican this February I decided to clean sweep the whole machine and set it up from scratch. After the fresh install I played around a bit with OSX and liked what I saw in the core applications (mainly iPhoto). As an amateur photographer I love the way iPhoto works, its so simple, does a great job organizing. I have been using iTunes for a very long time (since i got my 4G iPod) in Windows and it being a native Apple application was a nice feature. Long story short I have grown to really enjoy using OSX and feel that its a very big selling feature for me moving forward. Im still a Windows guy, but OSX is a nice environment to work within.</background!> While I know that Apple is in the process of updating its entire line with new technology and new features I can't help but feel that they are leaving potential customers behind with their slow updating and lack of a midrange machine. I love the 24" iMac. Its the perfect solution for me. While I already own a 24" Dell display (and a 19" Viewsonic second display) I anticipate the awesomeness that will come with the available desktop space provided to me by duel 24". The biggest issue I have with the iMac is that its simply a desktop laptop. Its anemic in power and void of upgradability (new words are fun) and platform flexibility. Perhaps the upcoming (we have no idea, don't kid yourself) version will be more powerful but still the power will be anemic (particularly in the GPU department). The mac pro is far to expensive for what you get initially. I'm sure the price tag comes closer to earth as you requirements increase and the more junk you put into it, but for the average consumer looking for a workstation and a gaming platform a couple Xeons and a half assed video card won't cut it. I already own a Macbook and its works great for what i use it for. The Macbook Pro seems a bit overpriced (ooo backlite keyboard *yawn*) and you lose a bit of portability with the increase in size. I'm not in the market for a laptop, I want a desktop. To compare pricing with what Apple is providing I consulted both Dell and my local geek shop. In the case of Dell I was able to create a pretty good system for far less price as the iMac but with far superior hardware (granted no monitor, and the big ugly box below ones desk). The geek shop is where things got real interesting however with a build including E6600 CPU, 8800 GTX Video Card, 2GB high end RAM, Duel 500GB Wester Digital Drives, Highend motherboard, 600 W powersupply, etc all for ~$2100 (no monitor) without cheaping out on anything (Asus, BFG, and other various reputable brand names). Ive been building my own computers for years (10?) and I know that while you do gain a discount in price, you can at time have issues with device compatibility, device reliability, etc. If you go through a good company you can get some pretty good warranty (the place I shop will charge a nominal fee (1%) for over the counter exchanges and they do the RMA on a busted part). Basically what I'm getting at is that the industry moves a lot faster then 259 days (last iMac/Mac Mini update) and with Apple and its "batched updates" you wonder if they leave customers behind who get tired of the waiting and move on to better hardware for a cheaper price. You lose OSX, but their is a point where people like me who are primarily Windows but want both have to jump into the market and buy and when price vs features are compared, this late in the game Apple looks pretty weak. I can't justify the cost of the iMac for year old hardware. I will however be waiting for the rumored June refresh and see where things land. I'm sure this is the wrong place to lay out my frustrations as most comments I read (long time lurker, first time poster) are pretty fanatical about Apple and its do-no-wrong buisness practices, but I think in terms of system building a more Dell like approach (faster availability of new technology, more varied part selection and more product skus) would lead to a much more satisfied customer and remove the large drop off in computer sales near the end of a product life (how many are waiting on the refresh? seems like everyone).