My computer was in the Apple Hospital. I was without my beloved desktop for three days. It was torture. My iPad will never replace my giant desktop.
I bought my iMac exactly 3 years ago come December 27th. It was expensive. Probably 2 or 3 times more than a non-apple computer would have been. I was smart enough to fork over even more money for "applecare" (I think it was $169 but don't quote me).
Applecare extends the customer support and warranty on the computer for another 2 years on top of the first year. During the three years that I have had my precious, I had to lug it in one other time as there was a wifi issue and they replaced whatever in the computer makes it talk to the wifi modem (You can tell I'm really technically savvy). I also called the nice Apple phone people several times and they were always able to help. They are located in the US and don't tell you to turn on and off the computer ten times and then say that they can't help like PC support had done to me in the past.
The Apple Store is about 5 minutes from my house which is a plus as I had to schlep my big baby in this week as everything was sluggish and they couldn't diagnose it over the phone. This computer is big, bulky and heavy. Luckily I brought it into the store before my warranty expired because when the sweet genius Cory plugged it into a little gadget and ran a test, a huge red banner went across the screen saying "FAILED". They replaced the entire harddrive and because I had AppleCare, it was all FREE! They had the computer for three long days but it is good as new now!
When I purchased this computer I also bought an external hard drive for about $100 at Costco. Using the apple program called Time Machine, it automatically backs up my entire computer on a regular basis. When I got home from apple, I plugged in the external hard drive and clicked enter and within 3 hours, my entire desktop was restored. Exactly how it was before! If you did not know that the hard drive was replaced, you wouldn't have noticed one difference.
I love a bargain more than anyone but I would never buy a PC ever again. Apple is worth the extra money when it comes to computers!