The guy who built the $400 Hackintosh makes some excellent points. When you break it down, its really unbelievable how much people pay for Apple computers. There is nothing special in that box! With an iMac you have an all in 1 with almost zero upgradability. A smart buyer buys a motherboard with a newer chipset so they can upgrade the CPU/ram/video card easily over the next 2-4 years. Everything about Apple is just a ripoff. Another problem with Apple Minis/iMacs and even the Mac Pro: Temperatures. They are high. Apple is incredibly poor at cooling their machines. You will notice in the new Mac Pro literature there is not one peep about real, measured temperatures. Nothing. Because its a cooling disgrace. Higher temps result in far more hardware failures. I just cannot fathom how any thinking person would want to support such a company.
Now we come to resale value of the Hackintosh: Is it not going to be worth far more than the parts if it flawlessly runs OS X? I bet that $400 Hackintosh could be sold for $600! Strange as it may seem, there are people out there not seduced by Apple style, that value functionality and efficiency, and could care less what a metal box looks like; this is, after all, the center of their informational life. I used to sell computer parts and the Apple buyers were consistently the most clueless by far as a demographic. They knew almost nothing about what they should get or why they should get it. It was quite fascinating to witness over and over. As a group I believe you could say they were very poor at general analysis (say about 90%). Sure there were some bright ones but it was very rare.
Today you need the following used parts to build your OS X/Windows/Linux computer:
$50--Motherboard, newer model, full size or smaller ATX, 4 x DDR3 1600mhz ram slots, USB3, built in HDMI/DVI out, 1 or 2 x PCI-Ex16 / 2 x PCI-E / 2-4 PCI slots, from a good manufacturer like Asus, Abit, Gigabyte, MSI or a few others.
$40--CPU Here is where you economize a bit as CPUs drastically devalue once they are a year or 2 old. Use the newest motherboard and an older CPU for maximum value. Today $40 puts you around 3ghz dual core speed. Shipping costs for CPUs are almost nothing as they can be stuffed in an envelope. Insure with U-Pic.com. Never insure with your shipper! Never put the description of the item on the outside of the box - just an invitation for theft if its valuable.
$30--2 x 2gb DDR3 1600mhz ram.
$15--30gb SSD for your OS and a few programs that need the speed. Or use a mSata if the board has the slot.
$40--1tb Sata drive for everything else.
$20--Power supply, around 500 watts. Without a video card you do not need much power.
$205 total. Get OS X going and you could flip it for $400-500 to someone that sees the inherent problems in something like a Mac Mini.
Oh the monitor: Look at the price now! 24inch used ones are going near $100! But the main thing is you get what you need, not what holy Apple deems you worthy of. Want a triple monitor setup? Want a monitor arm? No problem. Not so with with the iMac. No Vesa bolt holes in the back so you are stuck with their idiotic, zero vertical adjustable stand. All it does is tilt.
You will find that people that know talk in specifics, laying things out in a clear fashion as I hope I have done here.
Now ask yourself: What is the point of using OS X anyway? Its very substandard to Windows and Linux. Its a complete mouse centric OS that often ignores keyboard shortcuts vastly slowing down the user. Its for grandmothers. Very old grandmothers whose idea of technology is a newer design of candle holder and they got that because of the color.
Think and choose well.