I agree with you that a Mac costs far too much for an irresponsible teenager (or adult for that matter). Unless you have money to burn, I think a Mac is only a good option for those who rely heavily on Mac only programs (that's what people are really referring to when they say graphic design and such), those who want a nice reliable computer that they can take care of, or those who are tired of the blue screen of death (among other things). I like the cost of PCs (I just bought a UMPC for traveling), but I also like the stability and interface of a Mac. I would admit to being an Apple fanboy (I have an iMac, 2 Minis, a Mackbook Pro, an iPhone, iPod touch, and 3 iPods) but I would never buy my son or daughter a Mac for college unless he or she has proven that he or she can take care of it. I bought my wife a PC because she is the careless type, and although she loves to use my Macs at home, I could never justify buying her a Mac and watching it deteriorate. As many others have stated before, Macs and PCs both run the most educationally essential programs, but there may be certain programs needed that are only supported in Windows. That being the case, you must weigh your options and choose either the BootCamp method or a PC. Here's a simple scenario: If you plug a new mouse into a PC, watch how long it takes for it to "install" before it works. On a Mac, there is no wait. The same goes for flash drives. This is an example of how things "just work" on a Mac. On the other hand, if you have a MacBook that doesn't have a built-in webcam (early 2007 and prior), you have very limited options for the addition of one. My point with this argument is that we can go back and forth all day with pros and cons with regard to the same issue. Until 2007, I was an avid PC user and swore by it. I did everything I could to avoid an iPod (I bought every MP3 player on the market in search of the best). I think, in the end, it comes down to three major things (not the only things, just what I can think of at the moment). How willing are you to take a chance on something new and not so very different, how much is too much money, and should you switch, what route will you take to ensure you have all the necessary software (although I'm not encouraging illegal downloads, that is a factor some people consider).