"iMac 21.5 is great but expensive"4.0 starson by sbirnbaum1
Pros: 1. Built in America.
2. Real American tech support.
3. MS Office is cheaply available.
4. It's not a Microsoft Windows product so no GPFs (the blue screen of death) and it's a lot more stable than Windows.
Cons: 1. It is expensive.
2. It's an all-in-one, so if one component goes everything goes.
3. Since it's Unix-based there are some potentially fluky read/write protection issues with 3rd party software installs.
Summary: Imagine installing sw by just dropping the sw into a folder. Since I've always owned IBM compatible pxs all my life, the sw installs are amazingly simple. And, there aren't any registers to corrupt.
I've owned foreign-ill supported pcs my life so it has been thrilling to talk to support based here in the U.S. They all speak English as their first (and probably only) language. IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. I've put in a few tech support calls (get AppleCare) and the callbacks are prompt and helpful where most of my problems are actually resolved in one call. There is a price to pay for good and non-foreign outsourced support.
Cons. Rpts. rates the service on the Apple the best of all pcs and I agree. While the iMac is pricey I am buying our second one shortly to replace a five year old XP system that's GPF'ing on me up the wahzoo.
Don't fool yourself into thinking you're getting a machine that cannot get viruses. That's simply not true but there will be fewer because there aren't many Apples out there in the massive marketplace ... yet.
Bottom line - if my 21.5 iMac was a little cheaper, it would get five stars. I've had my first one for @six glorious weeks. The second is coming soon. Shop around because you can get a cheaper iMac and you can also get cheaper AppleCare protection if you ask. (CNET, will you let me mention B&H Photo is cheaper than other companies for the 21.5" iMac.)