Replacing a Hackintosh with a real Mac...
I've just replaced my Hackintosh with a brandnew (sellout) iMac 24". It's more or less capable of the same things, although I've got 4 GB of RAM in this one, whereas I had 2 in the Hackintosh. It was a nice project keeping Leopard running and up-to-date on a "vanilla" PC that was close to a real Mac, but it was also a bit of a headache to use the machine from day to day. Any system updates could hose the system, so it was always about reading first, installing later (after patching some stuff beforehand). With 10.5.5, the machine ran great, actually. I had an *almost* vanilla install, meaning there was EFI emulation running on the PC – and Mac OS X 10.5.4 Retail thought it was actually a Mac. I only had to inject a special sound driver and something about a TimeMachine incompatibility. The rest was "clean", so to speak.
The 10.5.6 update would have broken it, if I had simply installed it. It's been replaced by the iMac now, and I was up and running with the same basic setup with three external harddrives in about two hours. The main difficulty was getting rid of one or two kernel extensions that I had installed at some point, instead of letting the EFI emulation inject it on-the-go.
The whole year or so I've dealt with all that was pain & pleasure, but it mostly showed me that Apple is going about this in a very artificial way. The OSX86 crowd is quite quick with updates, and most problems can be solved easily, if you know your way around the Mac OS X system and a bit about the Terminal. If Apple *wanted* to, they could release a Mac OS X version for the "vanilla PC" anytime, basically. They could release a hardware compatibility list that would be a tad small compared to Windows Vista, but it would allow many PC users to switch to the Mac without replacing their whole setup - as long as that setup includes a motherboard, chipset, graphics card etc. close to a real Mac's. But Apple won't do that anytime soon, it seems, and I think that's not the worst state of the Mac world. Apple is thriving, the OSX86 crowd is thriving - and as long as Psystar and EFI-X USA don't mess things up too badly for everyone, most people are quite happy.
All that said and done, I'm glad I'm back on a real Mac setup again. The machine is much quieter, it'll update to 10.5.7 and 10.6 just fine thankyouverymuch and I can go back to synching my huge iTunes library to the AppleTV and iPhone in my household. Maybe I'll bring the Hackintosh back to try Mac OS X 10.6 on it, if the wonderful people in the OSX86 world find a neat, clean way to have it as vanilla as possible, but I doubt it right now. I guess I'll sell that PC after cleaning it and reinstalling some linux distro on it.