The Wall Street Journal’s Walter S. Mossberg is out with his most recent personal computer buyer’s guide.

Mossberg writes, “As always, this is a general guide aimed at mainstream, nontechnical consumers who dwell on common tasks such as email, instant messaging and surfing the Web; managing and lightly editing photos, videos and music; and using basic office applications. It is not intended for heavy gamers, video producers or corporate buyers.”

“In my view, Apple’s Leopard operating system is faster, better and far less prone to malicious software than Microsoft’s Vista operating system. And the Mac laptops also come with better built-in software. The $1,099 MacBook is a solid, fairly priced machine, and the $1,999 MacBook Pro is even better. Both also can run Windows,” Mossberg writes. “But Windows laptops are often less expensive…”

MacDailyNews Take: You get what you pay for; spec out a WIndows laptop that compares with what’s offered in an Apple notebook and check the prices. You’ll likely be very surprised at the Mac’s price-competitiveness. Apple refuses to compete in the bargain basement junk PC market. Apple wants to satisfy customers; they won’t make junk for the sake of low sticker prices. Apple has a reputation for quality that they will not sacrifice to pad their market share numbers like HP, Dell, Gateway, etc.

We can’t ship junk. There are thresholds we can’t cross because of who we are. The difference is, we don’t offer stripped-down, lousy products.Apple CEO Steve Jobs, August 7, 2007

Mossberg continues, “If you’re buying an Apple laptop, two gigabytes of memory is plenty. If you’re using Vista Home Premium, I’d consider three gigabytes for best performance.”

MacDailyNews Take: Don’t forget to factor that extra RAM into the price comparison. While you’re at it, factor in the cost of your time, the cost of Antivirus software and the processor cycles to run it, and the general frustration tax that Windows routinely exacts.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Windows-only users: Get a Mac and you’ll never look back. Don’t just take our word for it — we are MacDailyNews, after all. Don’t even rely on just Walt Mossberg’s advice, either. Instead, please see the wealth of related articles below from an extremely wide variety of sources and you’ll find out pretty quickly that your next computer should be a Mac.