My wife and I have used both Macs and PC's extensively (much in Photoshop). The Athlon's FPU and L1/L2 cache strengths are similar to the PPC, so except for Windows not being quite as wise as Mac OS's in resource balance and anticipation (which makes a noticeable difference in the "feel" comparing similarly-clocked Athlon/Mac machines) the many, many extra Hz in an AMD machine are just gravy, and you are likely to be very satisfied. In your price range, I strongly recommend a good chunk of memory (512 MB min), and dual processors make up for most (all?) of Window's unpleasant pauses compared to Mac OSs. Good luck.
Also; in agreement with the folks above, Win2k will not ruin your computing experience. "Stuff just works" (as long as you buy from reputable manufacturers - PC's lack the security - and expense - of very limited hardware sources) in Windows, too.
Tyan TigerMP - 2x1.2 Athlon MP - Adaptec 16160 U160 SCSI/Seagate Barracuda 19 GB - IBM 40 GB IDE - 1024 Crucal PC2100 ECC DDR - ATI All-in-wonder Rage 124 - Zip 100 - Plextor 12/8/32x CD-R/RW - Pinnacle DV IEEE-1394 - Iiyama VisionMaster Pro 450
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: nrobison on 2002-02-21 05:00 ]</font>