If by "better" you mean more meaningless long checklists of features, sure.
If by "better" you mean a superior and well integrated user experience, your wrong - other companies fall short. And it's not just me - look at Apple's market cap which is a direct reflection of the agreement with their philosophies.
I submit the reason that people like you are scratching your head is your in the minority, and you are focused on things that matter to a very small minority of people. A minority that is also online and hang out in forums like this and tend to be represented out of proportion with reality since most "normal people" wouldn't be hanging out in forums like this talking about very "inside baseball" subjects like, well, this entire web site's focus.
Long feature lists matter to geeks with yardsticks. For everyone else, how a device works and accomplishes what they want is what matters more. Guess who there are more of - geeks or everyone else?
Actually part for part, Macs are very cost competitive. Most people who have a problem with Apple and price are trying to compare Mac's to cheap PC's with minimal features. Apple doesn't compete in the bargain basement space - there is no reason for them to. Just because they don't offer the equivalent of a $400 netbook doesn't mean the MacBook is overpriced
It just means Apple isn't targeting your desires. Oh well - guess you will just have to buy elsewhere...
I bought by my Thinkpad T510 loaded, with discrete NVidia graphics and a 1920x180 95 gamut display for $1200CAD taxes in. Macbook pro cant touch it. There are alot of crappy cheap PC's out there but if your willing to spend a little more you can get some nice hardware.
iTunes is very good if you use it like designed - let it manage the files and manage your content via meta data. Most people complaining about iTunes, for whatever reason, want to tend files in folders. Why? This is 2010 - let the computer do mundane file management. If you have relevant information like artist/album/title in folders instead of metadata, there are plenty of utilities out there that will help you correct that and get the information out of the file structure and into the MP3 tags where it belongs.
Once you have the proper meta data, smart folders are very powerful and iTunes works quite well. I have over 40,000 tracks - there is no practical way to manage that manually. iTunes handles it with ease.
Itunes might be great on a Mac but its borderline bloatware on a PC, 200mb download for a media player! How many services need to run in the background Apple!
They are masters at "desperately useable" - which is directly reflected in the popularity of their products as well as their market cap.
I dont even want to touch your agrument of Market Capitalization and your elusion of value, Apple skyrockets and all of a sudden everybody works on Wall Street.
Ha! The "solution" is to actual create products people want, not just products that have long lists of features. Pretty simple, actually - the problem is you have to be willing to either leave stuff out, or perhaps drop it to increase usability. Hard for most companies to do when there are people like you whining about "desperately average" and other such nonsense. The irony is your complaints are actually perpetuating that which you are complaining about!
"Build products that people want to buy", is a simplistic argument coined, by a consumerism movement in the North America to simply rationalize domestic business failure and wealth transfer. Your better than that, dont be a carrier for someone else's BS.
Success has alot more to it than creating products people want, its also convincing people that they want your product. Which Apple has done very succsessfully, sublimely, while leaving them with the illusion that they are still a consumer who is in control, even though their purchase was irrational.