What could I do with $600 Mac-Wise! I would have a KB and mouse I could use. Other than that, I would want the best system I could get. I would also have a monitor I could use. I could also fit in another $50 if I had to.
Darth Vader- Black MacBook 2.0GHz/2GB/80GB/AP+BT/SD/19" Widescreen LCD/Black Apple Pro Keyboard/Black Logitech Wireless Mouse
iBob the 7th- 5th Generation iPod 60GB/Black
iBob the 10th- iPod Touch 8GB/Black
In a tower system you can put in bigger and faster and cheaper hard drives. You can have more RAM. You can change out the optical drive in the future if desired. You could put in upgrade processors. And it would probably come with a key board and mouse.
Basically upgradeablility is the perk in having a power mac.
A mini is probably a better choice than an Emac, though. The Emac is less upgradable comes with a slow hard drive (5400rpm). That's the same as the mac mini. Certain eMac models can take twice as much RAM as the mini. It's big to transport around. But it does come with a keyboard and mouse.
Mac mini seems like a good choice for most everyday things. It wouldn't be very good as a pro machine. But as an web/email/pictures/music machine it should be good.
I am slightly off topic : Would a Mac Mini (with ext FW drive) make a good music server? I'm in the process of building (small townhouse), and will have the unit wired. I'm thinking of a hardly used computer to leave in the basement, and then adding either Sonos or Roku Soundbridges where music is required. I expect to have an iMac in the Kitchen area, but don't want multiple components at this location.
Or a cheap Celeron for the same purpose? The Celeron would be a cheaper option, as I could just add a large internal HD. Maybe get it to run Linux??