My Lombard died and "buying a G5 iMac might not be such a good idea"
There are some Apple machines which work fairly well, like my G5s for example and then there are machines that just are trouble (like my Cube and my Lombard Powerbook). It seems that when Apple attempts to push the boundaries, in terms of getting hot gear to run well in small boundaries, chances are that there will be problems.
It appears the latest iMacs are also plagued with problems as I have learned from a close acquaintance :) and this pretty telling article: New iMac a Rotten Apple. I experienced all this shit with Apple as well, but not with one machine in one year, but with three Apples over the course of many years.
My Lombard was misdelivered with less MHz and it took some time to get it changed to the proper model. I remember shipping time was in terms of months also, but we didn't have tracking then. It never ran Mac OS X Server 1.2 properly, and until the last repair fix, also was prone to crashing in Mac OS X. My first G5 also took months from purchase to delivery. My cube fairly soon developed the problem of "just shutting down", when it wanted to, so I had to sent it back. Now it just turns off, when I hit the desk fairly hard...
But the Lombard Powerbook really was just always a source of trouble throughout its lifetime. It now has decided to cease functioning again, promptly six months after I spent what I remembered to be about € 400 for fixing it up. During the first fixup, the indicated repair wasn't even done and just the keyboard replaced and it took lenghty discussions with Gravis headquarters and Apple to get it right, although Gravis Bochum lied to me and even tried to cheat me.
As long as it works, the Apple is a good deal, but when it breaks down, you may get to know the ugly side of Apple.
Apple's business plan for you the customer is this, if you buy an Apple you should buy Apple Care to insure it's lifetime of three years. After that the repair costs and hassles are just so high, that you buy a new machine. If you luck out and your Mac runs for longer than that, Apple ensures your purchase of a new machine after an estimated five or six years, by dropping support from the operating system. Tiger wouldn't run anyway on the Lombard, because this Powerbook doesn't have "Firewire" support, so critically necessary for operation.