This argument always comes up, and in a narrowly-defined, austerely utilitarian sense, it's true: if you want to maximize power while minimizing upfront costs, building your own machine can be cheaper than buying a Mac. But that narrowly-defined perspective ignores the value of design and aesthetics, hardware-software integration, out-of-box experience, user comfort with the device, and so on. Perhaps you're the sort of person who dismisses all that as fluff, or who simply doesn't think Apple's hardware is as good as advertised. That's fine-- it doesn't have to matter to you. But to assume none of that matters to the larger market (or that if it does, it's all the result of marketing) is misguided. Certainly, Windows OEMs seem to have gotten the message-- after churning out anonymous commodity models for ages, they (with prompting by Intel) have focused much more on integrated experiences and new designs.