I just spent $2200 CAD (plus taxes, and an extra 512 megs of ram) on a new iMac G5 20". I did this two weeks ago, before the Intel rumors.
My parents were all set to also pick up an iBook and iMac. After the announcement, my dad said "I guess I'll wait a year."
There's no need to wait. If the computer does now what you want and need it to do now, that's what matters. In a year, my iMac will still be playing WoW, still run iMovie and all the other iApps, and still store all my music in iTunes and stream it to the home stereo. In fact, I'd wager that even in 5 years, my iMac will still be doing all of this.
Yes, your Apple may have a slightly lower resale value after 3 years than you've been used to - but at least it will still have a resale value. Anyone try selling a Pentium III lately? Be happy that you can still retain value after an extended period of time.
Businesses who lease new products (and you should) get to amortize hardware over 2 years. After 2 years, it's worth nothing to the business in terms of tax breaks, so feel free to switch to Mac-Intel in two years with no regrets, and rest assured that you can pass the "old" G5's down to junior members of the firm who can still run Office and Photoshop and any other current-gen app just great.
I will admit that I reacted with shock and disappointment when I first discovered there'd be a transition after a 2-week old purchase. Take a step back, breathe, and think about the future. 2 years is an eternity in computer years (think of computer years as dogyears x 2
) and we have no idea what the world will look like then.
I will say, however, that it looked like the P4 3.6 on stage with Steve sure opened apps faster than my 2.0GHz G5.
I think I'll start saving my pennies for my NEXT Mac, and reassure my parents that whatever they wanted their new Macs to do now, they will still be doing in 2 years. My mom's old Toshiba notebook still runs windows 98 and still gets email for her, so a new iBook will be no different.
Think less about the insides, and more about your real-world usage for a computer.