"So, Tom, we know you hate the Apple 'family' of products but what is your alternative?"
Windows using open source apps and turning off as many services and as much "Bill junk" as possible (e.g., Windows Media Player). XP is pretty good for things like sound drivers; its file and foldering system is nice. No stupid graphic stuff like images morphing into smaller images as they head south to the icon dock, as with Apple. XP is tweakable to a stripped down system with plain vanilla interfaces into which you can load programs of your own choosing, such as media players, browsers, email clients, and sound-, image- and video-editors. Once you've chosen not to use the Bill junk it stays out of your way. You just need a good antivirus since Windows is the attack target of choice.
"Why not Linux if you're such a geek purist and hater of hyped-up, supposedly consumer friendly but ultimately non-configurable crap products like Apple?"
Take it away, Paul Slocum.