HT vs 64bitWhat people are not taking into consideration is that its not so much a contest between intel and AMD, its between the HT feature of the pentium 4 chips and the 64bit computing power of the AMD chips.
The way i look at it any intel chip with HT is the way to go. You can look at all the bench marks you want but they dont mean anything because they are only looking at a single application that is running at a time. If you try running IE and office at the same time, or maybe office and some video editing software, or compiling some software while doing some graphics work in photoshop. The pentium 4 will beat any 64bit chip hands down because the pentium is dual cored and can handle multiple threads simultaniously.
If you think about it, the average user will spend more time surfing the internet while downloading MP3's, and chatting on aol all at the same time. A 64 bit processor is not going to anything for you in terms of performance. The HT will, each one of those programs will be receiving 100% of the clock cycle. (more or less)
All of this is assuming you are running software that is not HT or 64 bit optimized, which is till 99.9% of all software.
However, 64bit computing is the wave of the future. Once the software catches up and we have 64bit windows, with 64bit office, and 3d graphic cards that are optimized for 64bit calculations, then and only then will 64bit processors be worth while. But by the time that happens your fancy pants AMD 3400+ or whatever will be out of date.
SO, moral of the story is,
Average gamer, home user, office guru, 3d artist etc= Pentium 4 w/HT
Mobile user, only concern is battery life/weight = Pentium M / centreno
Engineer, Scientist, Programmer, not concerned with windows or gaming= 64bit AMD
Thats my 2 cents