ok a few things from a guy who uses a mac at home and maintains teh windows network at work..
#1 macs do crash less, a lot less.. needing to reinstall the OS is pretty much not going to happen
#2 by default macs are more secure.. this is for multiple reasons. The BSD core is a big part of it... another part is no active x. This means that you won't get super simple install plugin shit.. but it's easy enough.. but at the same time spyware is way down. No Visual basic is another reason for the security and the fact that less shit is turned on and active. Another big reason is that since the mac market is smaller.. people writing the malware want to maximmize the damage so they write for windows.. the #1 market os.
#3 Mac laptops are not going to play games worth a damn. To that end i have a nice desktop and an xbox.
#4 multitasking is a reality on a mac.. on windows it is not. You know when you have those niggling little problems like trying to burn a dvd that fails.. or create an image or a disc.. etc etc.. you go to do something else and windows craps out.. doesn't usually happen on a mac.. providing you throw a fair amount of ram in there.
#5 P2P apps. Well.. you can get limewire.. but i wouldn't i would use poisoned, iswipe, drumbeat. - or learn to use newsgroups which is inherently more secure. To that end there is NO application like Unison on the pc which is jhust awesome www.panic.com
#6 app availablility - anything worth having is available for the mac on a mainstream consumer level. There are some specialty apps that are not going to be.. but you would already know about them if you used them. (medical - some 3d modelling - etc). Photoshop, macromedia stuff.. all there.
#7 iLife is dope. Garage band is fun.. itunes you probably already know about.. imovie is dope for consumer level editing.. final cut express for $300 does a damn fine job for prosumer. iDVD is the same story. Easy to make a dvd of home videos.. very cool.
#8 converting from vhs to dvd. You can get any firewire bridge with mac support and import to imovie.. clip it how you want,. burn with idvd.. integrating soundtrack from your itunes library and stills from iphoto. It IS that easy.
#9 Office on the mac is continually touted as being superior.
#10 one thing i miss is allaire homesite.. i do not care for bbedit as an html/js/css tool I am still looking for the one GOOD text editor for web development.. when i don't want to use dreamweaver.
#11 Speed is relative.. even the slowests ibooks should do what you want.. I am using a 12" powerbook right now and it's fast enough i guess. Would i like a g5 powerbook, or a dual core g4.. sure.. but this isn't exactly holding me back. I use a t40 at work and this is as fast.
#12 Applecare - make sure you get it for a notebook. Since you are new to mac.. you probably want to get it at time of purchase so you can get phone support. I foreego teh initial expense since i am confident i can fix anything NOT hardware related on my mac.
#13 usability - there is a program called launchbar for the mac.. i press apple+space, type in 3 letters of what i want and hit return. This is far superior to using the mouse to navigate.. if i want to get the phone number for my friend justin from my phone book i just hit apple+space type in "jus" without the "" and press enter address book opens up and shows me the proper entry.
#14 II find mac mail to be a little lackluster so i use thunderbird.. this may change with teh next version of the os as it revamps apple mail. I also use firefox for my browser.. it's faster then safari and i love the addons... but i don't use IE on windows either.
#15 Price - I don't think mac laptops are priced obscenely. Look at a top of the line thinkpad and then look at a 15" powerbook.. similar...quality products. You get what you pay for IMHO.
Stuff just works. Look I am an MCSE, CCNA, lifelong windows user, who maintains corporate networks for 2 large national magazines.. I understand windows.. and it IS inferior to os x. What apple has already achieved MS is looking for in longhorn.. but they keep taking pieces out.. and the hardware requirements are obscene.
I would absolutely recommend a mac laptop to anyone who just wants to WORK. If you want to play games on a laptop, don't even consider it. if you want something that is going to turn on and function as it should.. powerbook or ibook should do it.
The ibook is more durable, teh powerbook is a bit sleeker and faster.
anything that wasn't adressed feel free to ask.