Re: I hate Macs!
I'm another longtime hardware/software professional in my boring day existence: I'm a EE who specializes in microprocessor design (worked for Sun Microsystems on the Microsparc family of processors in the 80s and 90s). I've always been a Unix guy since my college days in the 70s, so I was quite happy when Apple came out with OS X (which is just a relatively decent Unix implementation with a pretty GUI stuck on top). It is easy enough to work around the GUI and use a Mac as a straightforward Unix box, which is what I do at this point.
I've participated in porting a number of the open-source software EDA tools I use (distributed logic and circuit simulation, primarily) to the Apple platform with good results. I've also fooled around with Linux quite a bit, but truth be told I like the stable hardware/software environment that the Mac Pros provide. I find the OS X platform to be as wide open as I want it to be: I build the tools I need as I go, if nobody else has already built them.
There's one good thing about Apple hardware users: they routinely abandon their current hardware to go get the latest and greatest. That is great for me, as I haven't bought a new machine since I bought my original Mac Plus back in the day. I only buy used machines a minimum of one generation back as a rule, and I've found that I've been able to maintain a very nice level of bang for my buck doing so. I recently replaced the last few Sun Ultrasparc servers in my compute farm with a number of used Mac Pros of 2010 vintage: less than half of the machine count, and less than a quarter of the power consumption, got me about a factor of 5 improvement in simulation throughput.
I still run Parallels under OS X to get a Windows XP seat on my desktop machine to do the handful of things that absolutely require Windows: Explorer for badly-written Web sites, and Visio for preparing documents in that bizarre proprietary format for for one specific client that insists upon it. But professionally I've moved completely away from anything to do with Microsoft. It is a personal bias after my Sun experience, but so it goes.
The DAW in the studio is still running Cubase on Windows XP, but soon it will be going down the road to someone who can tolerate its flakiness, and being replaced with Logic on a Mac Pro. Not looking forward to porting years of projects over, but I can't get the thing to stay up for longer than about an hour at a time, and my patience with it is pretty well spent at this point. It is interfering with my enjoyment of my music, and I'm not kindly disposed towards that. Getting the Blue Screen Of Death mid-take gets my blood to a boil very quickly.
You can do whatever you want with any of the platforms, to be sure. It all comes down to your experience, your training, and your personal threshold of patience- and pain.... (;-)
Regardless, buy used: let someone *else* take the depreciation hit. A little patience in buying your machines can save a great deal of cash. You do not need the latest and greatest of anything in the computing world: technology moves too fast. You may _lust_ for it, but you don't _need_ it to get work done...
Nerd without portfolio...