After my boss using a Mac and me reading Applegeeks a lot I bought a MacBook (2 Ghz, 2GB Ram) last year. I switched my PC to Vista (x64) at the same time. And I must say:
I love my Mac. (Well it still has BootCamp but I’m rarely using it, thx to Wine).
I have been using Linux, XP, Vista and MacOsX Tiger last year and I really enjoyed just sitting in front of my Mac (its looking pretty). Everything I need I can get for it (Vim, D, perl is installed) or emulate. Even .Net development is easy.
Sadly it can’t run Freelancer, but neither can Vista (at least not in Multiplayer, I had avast installed and I won’t reinstall just for games). So I have been switching back to XP a lot. After I switched my Mainboard I had to reinstall Vista (and reactivate) but not XP x64 (not even reactivate).
I still think if it’s Windows you need, Xp x64 is the way to go, It has already the better memory management (I have 4GB RAM) and it’s got not that much trouble with root-kits or similar (they only attack the 32 Bit part). Every game works on it (FarCry looks better too) and it provides full Direct Sound acceleration.
Well I got an X-FI and thanks to ALchemy it works under Vista Direct Sound works under Vista, but any other Soundcard is just lost. The sound is sounding dead. I can make better FX with my mouth.
And Vista got another problem there, it randomly mutes speakers. (ALchemy/OpenAL is not affected). Sometimes my front speakers go off, sometimes the back, sometimes I just hear from the center. I have no idea what that is all about.
Stil Mac OS X is the way to go, it still looks prettier and after 2 days working with exposé you will miss it the rest of your life.
And its cheaper, too.