Get the Mac and don't look back
I have been an serious hobbyist in photography for over 30 years. I have shot Nikons for years and the past 7 years a Leica M6. Since I have four children I shot MOSTLY slides. I primarily am a "street photographer" so I wanted a quiet stealthy unobtrusive camera. Naturally, I get a lot of interesting people, places, and family shots.
I show my slides on a relatively large pull down screen that I own through my Leica slide projector. If you ever really wanted to see your photography POP! showing them on a slide puts you right in the picture! Needless to say I have thousands of these treasures in storage.
I have now begun the process of scanning these slides in with a Nikon 8000 (top of the line) scanner with Firewire on a MAXXED out PC. I even have Vista with 2 gigs of Rambus (very expensive).
I have owned Macs too, (but prior to the recent Intel processor versions). I ABSOLUTELY LOVED MAC's. But, like a fool I maxed out a custom PC since I need certain "Windows only" for my work. WHAT A MISTAKE. Here are the main reasons I will be buying a MAXED out Mac next.
1. One of most important issues to me is the built in ColorSync with Apple's O/S. After all you want the image on the screen to match your prints or other outputs. PC's suck at color matching without special software and a spider device to read the screen. It seems to never end with the hardware and software you need to add to get just this critical area correct.
By the way I own a 24" Sony Trinitron GDM-FW900 which is a full CRT Flat screen that is still recognized by many as the finest in it's category. So it's not the monitor. Oh, I use the SAME video card (nVidia Geforce 7300) as the Mac does.
2. Scanning slides in even with with a high end PC at high resolutions is so aweful slow that you're ready to pull your hair out after the first batch. The MAC's architecture is such that they are "geared" for multimedia. Incredibly, a Mac Pro with 1/2 the ram as mine will scan almost twice as fast. This is a form of video streaming actually and is the MOST demanding multimedia application that you can test any computer on. The MAC wins hands down.
3. BUT, what's worse is using Photoshop on the PC's. Again, SLOWWWWW, compared to a Mac. All you have to do is compare them side by side (providing the software is optimized for the Mac) and you'll see your screens fly by with a MAC but NOT on a PC. If you like stuttering and stalls you'll like a PC.
4. The elegance of the Apple O/S can't be overemphasized. It's lean mean and super fast because it's NOT reliant on some old DOS remnants from 1988 for God's sake. Even Vista still has some of this junk. The Apple O/S is the bomb because it's a true 64 bit system. Do you really want to use Vista 64 to try to get this?
Lastly, GET A QUAD XEON from Apple. I wouldn't consider anything else but APPLE'S FASTEST MAC PRO. Get at least 2 to 4 gigs of Ram and the best graphics card you can afford. This outfit should cost you around $6,200. BELIEVE ME you'll spend that and probably more to outfit a PC with Xeons etc.etc.
The biggest lie out there IMHO is that Apple cost more. I just don't buy that anymore. Go to Dell and price out a similiar PC, you'll be shocked.
The Mac was built to satisfy the MOST demanding professionals in multimedia today. Now, you and I can own that same technology. I figure that I'll just add more RAM on the MAC and add a PC emulator like Parallels or something for the few occasions that I'll need "windows only" software. The bonus is that I'll have more ram for less cost than a PC.