This is my first post after reading apple insider for over 10 years.
Just my two cent (by the way, I use real name unlike most people here that is talking a lot of ...)
So you can check my IMDB. I do make movie sometime for fun. Yes I was really piss off with final cut x when it came out (I still using 7 but that will change soon)
And my day job is actually a software developer. So I guess I could give another 2 cents.
Xcode sucks most of the time. But nobody actually use it as an IDE. I build iOS and ipad stuff on other IDE then by the time it's ready. Compile in Xcode.
Since its a free tool. Can you really bitch about it that much? Your developer license is for distribution as well as testing (give you access to latest software) like some one else said here. The price is about two days of developer's pay. So no biggy here. Once you put the whole infrastructure to deliver and charging and what not no top. That really is peanut.
Lets go back the fiasco of final cut x. Apple has never been great at getting something right the first time. The first mac I ever use was the original macintosh. I didn't own it, my cousin did. And that was pretty much the first machine in the world that support Chinese input. Anyway. I am drifting off again. But as a very long time apple user. I could safely say they never get it right the first time. So I am waiting for the Retina MacBook Pro v.2
But once they get it right - they get it spectacularly right. iPhone came out without 3G , no multi tasking, no API. But once they figured it out - that is 10 billion dollars business for third party developers. And then the iPad one ... And the example can go on and on.
And this is happening for final cut x - lots of people bitch about they didn't have this or didn't come with that. Yes it's true but what they did give you underneath. That is something else entirely different. I am still playing with the idea of writing plugin for final cut x, it has a beautiful api sub system. Apple know their strength was never in pro application development. Why not give people a platform and let third party make a living out of it. You will see more of this soon. I think aperture is going the same direction. Lets hope the 4 come out soon.
As for development. Is there anything better than a true unix core with a beautiful interface on top plus the ability to run any OS on top for testing? And to those who are windows die hard fan ... Well, I don't have much to say. But for Linux people? Did you know you master of universe has been developing the last few version of Linux kernel on - a mac? Yes he didn't run OSX. But the machine is reliable, solid and quiet piece of kit.
I could go on and on, but I don't want to bore you guys.
Lets conclude my first post - apple was never into mass market b.s. this is what stock brokers want you to believe. They are into building the best thing they could. And hopefully somehow some where someone will appreciate it. And to all those people keep comparing a Mac with a (insert the other PC brand here). Why don't you go to their forum? Deep down you want it but you just too afraid to be the only guy in the room using it. I was there for a long time, and in many way I still am. But now I am just a drop of water in the ocean.
It has been a great ride. And I am looking forward to more fantastic things from Apple.