cant see it as apple envy as windows is alot fsater when it comes down to it doesnt look as nice but it does the job better.
I found a decent review http://arstechnica.c.../os/vistab2.ars
the guy is using a pretty powerful but fairly standard system with the current releases, apart from the gfx cards its the kind of system the OEMs are selling by the dozen. Runs well for him.
If you want a silent partner dont use windows, i dont want the silent partner i want the guy sitting in the background making my experience more enjoyable. If you want the silent partner use Linux thats its design philosophy but you cant judge windows against Linux in meaingful terms because they are designed to work in different ways, windows is supposed to be the silent partner if it was it wouldnt be as popular.
So the new hardware coming out and has been out and being bought alot on the last year or two will easily run vista and still have plenty to spare. That article also touches on the two new solid state drive functions to boost speed that are being built into new HDD when you see these technologies implemented Vista allready a fast OS on the appropriate hardware even though people whinge will be blazing the superfetch and readyboost performance gain is HUGE.
Also as a hardware point post 3Ghz isnt going to happen to much the way CPUs are developed now is using lower clock speeds the fastest are 3Ghz but you wont need close to that, the reviewer i linked to is using a 2.0Ghz system with good performance and intels new range are also ALOT faster than that and pricing is the same and clocks are lower, EE core 2 duos are over 3Ghz when autooverclocked but arent normally.
To surmise i dont want a silent partner thats the reason i use windows, when i want the silent partner i load up a linux OS for the job but it doesnt have the easy use and no brainer function of windows so i dont like it for my day to day i prefer windows because ive got plenty juice to spare for the monkey sitting on the shoulder as well.