Sorry, I didn't notice this post until I was scrolling down the page. A few things I would like to address...
"That said, "PC" is the acronym for "Personal Computer" which both Macs and IBM-based computers are. Okay, now that we've gotten acronym training out of the way.... (and yes, I'm sure PC stands for more than just "Personal Computer", somewhere!)"
>>>>Thank you, but I already knew what PC stands for. That said, the acronym, "PC" is popularly used these days to refer only to IBM-compatibles (formerly known as IBM clones).
"The reason (for the most part) the Macs don't see very many virus/malware problems is because the "underground" of anonymous hackers want notoriety, and they can't get that recognition writing malware code for Macs. The more people get damaged by these hackers, the more "respect" they get from their cohorts."
>>>>No, no, NO!!! WROOOOONG!!! Notoriety was a thing of interest back in the '90s, but nothing like that today. Most of what you see today in the "underground" is DoS-ing back and forth in gaming communities. Malware these days are written almost exclusively for PROFIT, not for notoriety (cybercrime overtook drug trafficking way back in 2004 to become the #1 largest criminal industry in the world. There's no notoriety in viruses, webserf; it doesn't take much to create a program that depends on user intervention to run.
The only way to gain "respect" these days is to design something that can execute code remotely, a drive-by download. And now with the annual Pwn2Own competitions that started in 2007, we have seen the Mac go down first EVERY SINGLE YEAR. And what are the hackers saying? Charlie Miller actually says the opposite of what you just made the mistake of suggesting. He said that he competes at Pwn2Own to get publicity for his company. And more importantly, he chooses to exploit the Mac every year specifically because "Hacking into Macs is so much easier." He wants to make sure that he wins, so he goes after the easiest target. He won Pwn2Own three years in a row: 2008, 2009, and 2010. The Mac was still the first to go down this year, but this time, it was VUPEN who did it (Charlie Miller went after the iPhone instead).
Viruses, on the other hand, are written not for notoriety these days, but for hate. They are sent in e-mail messages targeted at politicians and high-profile clergymen, whom the writers assume are running Windows because 9 out of 10 people do. In many cases, the victims forward the messages to friends and family, which is where all the patriotic and religious chain letters come from.
As Charlie Miller said, "If you're a bad guy and you're doing this to make money ... you don't want to spend 90 percent of your time on Windows and 10 percent on Mac. You're going to want to spend 100 percent of your time on Windows."
"Finally, for most people, BOTH setups will more than meet the needs of Internet access software, email software, word processing, and photo manipulation. Gaming might be one area that would compel a user to choose one over the other. But for the most part, a very satisfying user experience can come from the use of either at this juncture."
>>>>I haven't argued anything about a "very satisfying user experience." I've simply been saying that Windows is the standard, and currently more stable out of the box that Mac OS.
"It is true that Windows based computers, need more attention as relates to drivers, and software updates. It's also true that they need to be "cleaned" more often, but that's because of what we've discussed above."
>>>>I'd have to contest this claim. I don't clean temp files that often, although I always defragment my hard drives after installing updates (I don't defragment my laptop, though, as it has an SSD).
"In short, if it weren't for the internet/email vulnerabilities, any computer will give good, reliable use. And finally, it's even simpler than that, Don't download "better" software intended to do what the OS already does, or software that isn't totally free of "toolbars", "helper apps", "search engine" hijacks, etc.. Many users get tricked in to loading these toolbars etc., and the tracking software causes problems over time."
>>>>Your information is out of date. Windows is no more vulnerable than the Mac, and was actually LESS vulnerable until Apple finally got ASLR working in OS X Lion.
"Also, anything that's "FREE"??? ISN'T."
>>>>Not necessarily. Some things are totally free, depending on who you are to the provider. Sure, Mozilla makes money off you, but only because Google pays them for the searches you make from the Google searchbox, which is the default search engine in Fx. You, the user, pay nothing.
"Windows 7, and the advent of Windows 8, will certainly close the gap of how "well" the OS works, and maybe then we can simply say, "buy the one that you like most".."
>>>>Again, your information is out of date. Windows 7 is more stable out of the box than OS X, and stays that way as long as you're not a download junkie. I suggest you read some of my other posts, in which I discuss the out of box problems with OS X that you as a user have NO CONTROL over. I won't waste my keystrokes to post again.
I'm sorry, webserf, but you tried to correct me with information that is, in some cases, nearly a decade out of date! I suggest you read up before trying to correct me again; I've done my homework.