Hello? Vista has had the most problems since its debut. Have you ever heard of a down-grade ot OS X Panther from Tiger? No, but MS is doing that for Vista to XP. You can run Windows on a Mac with seamless effort too. Apple is great for more than video editing. Music, photos, anything that is normally labeled entertainment. Productivity is also great on it, better than MS productivity in some ways. Mac OS X has a UNIX core giving it more security as well. Gaming is very good on a Mac; games are just limited for it, but with Boot Camp or related programs, you can run games through XP or Vista just as well as on a Win box.
Sony, HP, and sometimes Dell make the best PCs for most people (excluding the super expensive companies such as Voodoo). Sony is too pricey; the cheapest MacBook at $1099 is vastly more capable than some $1800 Sony equivalent with a similar 13 inch screen. HP Pavillions are OK... not great. HP's corporate machines have proven to be much better performance wise (but not as good in entertainment...). Dell makes some cheap quality machines. Yu can argue with that statement as much as you like, but it's my opinion, or truth lol.
In my experience of being a moderate Windows user for a decade and a devoted Mac user for much shoret than that, it's no comparison. OS X doesn't crash; it's more user-friendly; it's really good if you put Apple prejudice aside. XP is great. Seriously. But the only thing that MS has rolled out that's worthwhile was the Xbox and the Xbox 360. And of course MS Office. Vista is horrible. No argument.
If you want to get a cheap machine that works okay and can run all of your basic stuff, get a Win box at a BB or CC. Maybe even Staples or CompUSA. Linux is great, but I see it as a compromise between OS X and Windows. OS X is my best OS, but choose what you like.
Sorry for the long post. LOL,