I have heard things on both sides of the fence. Personally...I have always been a PC user...so Mac is fairly foreign to me except what I drool on when I hit the Apple store. From everything every IT guy has EVER told me...for graphics design and that type of work...there is nothing better than Mac. It is definitely hard to hear that you are having troubles...I have always wondered what it would be like to have a Mac instead of a Dell. Personally...I haven`t had any major issue with Dell...although...like Edgar said...I have mutted mine so badly over the years that it probably isn`t a dell anymore...just a dell shell (HA...that rhymed). If you do decide to go with a PC over a Mac...definitely white box it...or as Edgar put it...generic. There are TONS of places Frys is great for this...where they can build you exactly what you want and how you want it or help you do it yourself. It sounds like you are familiar with this process though since you did it for your husband.
I have had similar experiences with service providers over the years...and one cell phone company who I would like to throw very heavy objects at! All in all...I have been pretty strong in my convictions to never go back to those companies....at least not until they prove that they are worthy of my business. I don`t reward companies who don`t provide decent products, good customer service, and quality in everything that they do.
Best of luck...I know it is hard when the puter is the problem...the silly things become an extension of us and when they are down...we are down!!!