Can't we all just get along?
Don't ego and write...
Us and Them.
Crikeys, the banality of these arguments is a microcosm of the world, and it's all just a discussion over PCs.
Build vs. buy is so similar to the same cr*p that is discussed ad nauseum when it comes to the my rice burner can beat your M5, S4, SVT Cobra, blah blah blah. *No one* likes to be wrong about their poison, so jusitifications abound. So, cool, it's your choice to build a system yourself to save money and get the gratification of having the job 'done right.'
But, man, there comes a time in life where time is far more valuable than the dollars I'm going to save doing something myself. Installing a car radio, installing gutters, customizing my PC to look like a Mac, rebuilding the latest Linux kernel, chaging the oil on my car. It's all a question of economics, my time versus the available amount of money I have at my disposal. When I have lots of time and no money, I'm going to do just about everything I can myself, and I get a high sense of gratification from saving money and learning by doing something I otherwise could care less about. When I'm bringing down the cash regularly and value my time a lot more than the money in my pocket, you bet I'm going to make purchases that other folks would scoff at and say, oh, dude, you so got ripped on that one. I could *easily* do that better and cheaper. That's right, you could. You know what, *SO* could I, but there are some very good reasons I chose my poison the way I did.
I mean seriously, not everyone can afford a Porsche. You can buy a lot of cars that perform closely, or even outperform, to the various models, often for a lot less (even half price). You don't get the Porsche name, heritage, and overall package. Some people would never buy a Porsche because they could always build a comparable product cheaper and convince themselves it looks better and is better. Others have the money and want the prestige, and most everyone agrees, "Hey, pimp ride you got there."
So it is with many things in life.
Like I said, can't we all just get along?
[Side note: While I agree that sometimes Mac fans can be fanatical, Jobs is no dummy when it comes to creating successful products of late. Can you deny the brilliance in making a product that is a few ten notes off of the larger capacity iPod, restrict the supply a bit, make it small and in pretty colors for the ladies, and bam, instant success. Now, you will see many, many arguments out there in forum land that say you can get XYZ MP3 player with better features, lower price, ad nauseum, but those companies aren't pulling in anywhere the profits of Apple. That's pretty much all I care about as a company owner and/or shareholder. Seems like the massive majority of consumers are ecstatic with the iPod/mini products as well, given the market share commanded by Apple. I certainly don't fault Alienware for creating a successful high-end marketing brand for enthusiast PCs, laptops, and multimedia home theatre products. More power to them.]