"You get what you pay for"4.0 starson by oobe2u
Pros: You're working with a set of tools, not manipulating a computer. The operating system and the supplied software is the best out-of-the-box experience there is. Plug it in turn it on, get to work. My Windows buds all just say, "Wow!"
Cons: The shortcomings are all correctable with a few more $. 4G RAM = $90. Add an external HD and use Time Machine to back up everything, all the time. Cheaper, better, faster, safer.
Summary: I spent more money and got the 24" model, with no regrets. The display is gorgeous. I purchased AppleCare, so I have 3 years of unlimited phone support. AC is less than the typical invoice for a single visit with a Windows tech. Mostly, it just works. I have XP Pro and Office 2007 on a second partition, but never use it, other than to freak out my Windows friends for fun. The system works pretty much seamlessly with my PC at the office and is a whole lot more fun to work on. (In fairness, the office machine is underpowered, crappy FPD and has Office 03 installed.)
Currently, I have all my critical info backed up offsite, using Apple's MobileMe. The backup system and photo galleries are flawless, the rest of the package is really, really terrible. I'm determined Apple outsourced the whole thing including the name and graphics.
Not sure about the comment about a single button mouse. The Mighty Mouse that came with my computer has excellent 360 scrolling, 2 distinct left and right buttons (you press down on one side of the mouse or the other) both fully programmable, and a third programmable pair on the side (which I've made my app switcher - I squeeze my mouse rather than hit Command-tab). Adding the Control key delivers most of the right-click Windows experience and can be customized depending on the app you're using.
I have a substantial investment in legacy software, but the tools that come with a new Mac have improved a lot. iPhoto now does 90% of the work I used to do in Photoshop. Keynote makes Powerpoint look weak. Numbers is Excel, but with professional graphics. Pages is a nice combo word proc/layout program, but I still use InDesign for my serious work. Spaces doesn't fit my workflow, so it's turned off. PhotoBooth is a hoot. iMovie and iDVD are as good as any other multimedia software I've used, and far better than any of the consumer level Windows apps. iCal is due for an overhaul, IMO and Address Book, while competent, I find kind of quirky. iChat is the best internet chat experience I've seen. It's another one that has my knowledgeable Windows pals saying, "Wow!" Great image quality, file transfer, reliability, ease of use. Apple Mail is an okay email client - it works well, but I'm often tempted to try another package. I use Safari, Firefox and Opera and find each has its strengths and weaknesses.
The bottom line is that you get what you pay for. So many of my friends' PCs are ugly, cheap and dated looking, and really kind of challenging to work on. Virtually every one of them has said the iMac is their next computer - although I'll believe it when I see it. They want Vista to be a great experience, so bad, but it just doesn't measure up.
I don't notice the extra money I spent on this system - less than the cost of some decent noise-cancelling headphones, a couple dinners out, way less than taking my son to an NHL game.
That's my take. Sure wish we had these boxes at work.