You are paying for the OS as well as a pretty good machine. Some will try to compare the nuts and bolts "cost" to your average Windows PC but the OS is worth something. If you feel you can't use the Apple OS keep shopping.
I'm a college student who's looking to replace a 5 year old hp dv1000 notebook computer and from examining cnet's reviews (a site that i look to when buying any device or gadget) on Apple's line of notebooks, i'm almost completely convinced that a macbook or macbook pro would be the notebook of choice for the rest of college. However, i couldn't help but question whether their computers really live up to the hype that their company advertises or whether the extra $500 is simply the price of having an apple emblem on your computer. I'm also curious as to why apple computers seemingly top each category that they're placed into. Are they really that good? or do the editors (with all do respect) add more points to the product review because of the Apple brand? are comparatively priced pc notebooks and computers just as capable as mac computers, if not more capable? Or, in another scenario, if the editors (or computer experienced individuals) could price mac notebooks based on their hardware and software, would their prices match those that Apple advertise their products to be?