My first desktop computer at work in the mid 80's was an Apple 2 (an upgrade from dumb terminal and mainframe). The first PC I brought in 1990 or so was a mac classic. I owned 2 mac portables in the early 90's. Sometime later in that decade I switched to PC (I think for gaming reasons). A few years ago I abandoned gaming on the PC (too much agro worrying about specs), and brought an Xbox360. As things stand at the moment (due to a lot of DIY upgrading) I have 4 desktops, 1 portable with a broken screen that can be remote desktoped into, and my wife and her sister have laptops. That is a total of 7 PCs in the house. Well 1 is actually at the bottom of the garden in my observatory. There is some Apple in the house. A nano with a duff battery in the attic, a nano that will never die, 2 3G ipod touches, 1 4G ipod touch and I treated my wife to an iphone4 (I am andriod for now waiting for the iphone5). I have avoided 1G ipad but am interested in a 2nd or 3rd generation. Hands down Apple is king in the phone, and handheld area. The UI is just the best there is. Recently I have been wondering about building/buying a HTPC, and my research has lead me to the mac mini. I am in no hurry, and want to wait for a 2011 model before making a final decision and in the meantime to distract myself I brought an apple tv2 (it was so cheap I could not see the downside). But I am really struggling to make the case to buy a mini over a PC media system. The 2010 system will cost me £612 for the base model and need a memory upgrade, only has a core 2 duo which is so yesterday's technology, and will not give me bluRay. For the same money I can get a Zino HD 410 with a bluRay, 6GB of RAM 1TB harddrive, a decent quad core processor, a decent small form video card, a keyboard and a mouse. Maybe the 2011 upgrade will close the technology gap - but I doubt it. What I want to understand is what is it that I am paying considerably extra for if I get a mini? I can only think of three things: i) Form over content - it look nicer ii) Exclusivity - it says something about the size of your disposable income iii) The true value of a commercial linux derivative is 3-4 times the value of windows 7. ie £300-400 of the mac mini cost is the true value (v £100) of the operating system. i) or ii) don't bother me - but I respect that others may be happy with either of both of them. iii) is interesting. Yes I think the Mac OS is better, but not that much better. This probably reads like a rant. Maybe it is. I am confused, and slightly frustrated with Apple. As I said I am not going to make any decision until the 2011 mini is out - so nothing rash will be done. I am interested in why people are prepared to pay more for a mini. I am also interested in if an intel older mini is a better way to switch. Cheers.