I'd like to play with OS X to see what makes it tick under the covers for the purpose of IT support - at CWRU here we have a lot of Mac-using professors. However, I can't justify spending twice as much on hardware as I would purchasing from any other vendor. Therefore, I'd like to avoid getting Apple hardware. I know you do get something for that money (nobody else does anything like Apple's aluminum unibody), but I don't need that for what I'm doing.
(Even the cheapest MacBook Pro is $1,199.00 -- compare to Lenovo, which itself is one of the most expensive PC makers, $809.00 for the same specs. [Okay, the Lenovo has a bit smaller hard disk, but it has a faster CPU and discrete graphics, so it's kind of a wash.])
Is there any (supported) way to do that or am I forced to purchase Mac hardware?