I gotta throw out an apology to the OP because unfortunately it appears that this thread has (yet again) devolved into a Mac vs PC debate and I don't think the OP has received much in the way of useful advice about his request. I started out just wanting to counter the all too common 'Mac just works' lines and ended up writing a dang novel and falling into the tempting debate trap.
I don't think we went THERE per se.
He got the standard advice:
1) A desktop is more powerful
2) Some useful hardware suggestions
3) Some specific suggestions of systems
All we're missing is the "You should get Linux" guy. Otherwise, it was pretty civilized and tame