*The sub $600 notebook is a throw away computer. Its may work great for email and web surfing but that's about it.*
I'm a graphic designer and have been for 9 years. I was trained on Macs. However, I just bought a $478 dell, and it's pretty decent. I use it for design, portable documents and video capture. Sure, I probably could have gotten a better one for more money, and don't get me wrong- I love Macs, but your statement that I quoted simply isn't true.