So I went ahead and bought this new Intel iMac.
Xerxes is its name and its bio id would say the following:
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.16 GHz w/ 4 MB L2 cache
2 GB RAM (3 GB is too expensive in the Apple Store)
500 GB hard disk
USB 2/Firewire 400/Gigabit Ethernet/802.11b/Bluetooth
I also bought Parallels Desktop and pre-ordered Crossover Office Mac.
The new iMac doesn't have a built-in modem any more. I want a modem because it allows me to send and receive faxes and to wake up the computer remotely (also to check whether the computer is OK). I ordered a USB modem hoping it would work in the keyboard USB ports (I need the two available ports at the back of the computer for camera and PDA). But Apple decided not to send it. (They took my money though.)
As everybody and myself knew Classic programs do not run on the new Intel Macs. Two of my favourite games are Colonization and Alpha Centauri. Dang!
The PowerPC runtime "Rosetta" is excellent. Much much better than I had even hoped. StarCraft works. Hexen II works. Quake 3 works. We played Quake 3 between the PowerPC G5 iMac and the new iMac and everything worked perfectly. Microsoft Office works.
Parallels Desktop is faster than Virtual PC (on an Intel machine) and allows for more configuration (I can add hardware). Windows XP installed without problems, the Parallels tools installed without problems. I installed Dark Forces II Jedi Knight to test it a bit and apart from general incompatibilities of Jedi Knight with Windows XP everything works fine. I also installed Visual Studio Professional (for work).
Crossover Office runs the odd Windows program, although I found it hard to find Windows programs (where do people get them from?). But apart from Microsoft stock software and Jedi Knight I found nothing I needed or wanted. And for the latter two Parallels and Windows XP is better.
I also downloaded and partly installed Mono (Novell's .NET VM and devtools) for Mac OS X Intel and Windows XP plus Visual Studio integration. No problems there.
I downloaded and installed Fink (Debian package manager for Darwin). Gimp downloaded and compiled. Everything works. I think I cannot easily run Windows and Darwin programs side by side as both use X11.app.
FrontRow is fantastic, as are the graphical effects Parallels uses for switching between operating systems. FANTASTIC! I could hardly have been more impressed.
Apple Xcode was not installed for some reason so I had to download it. But no problems since then.
I couldn't install eComStation 1.1 in Parallels. It just wouldn't boot and the VM crashed. OS/2 Warp 4 installed and sits there without graphics drivers.
Parallels has no protection against user errors. I had to be careful. I am not kidding.
iChat fails with my firewall. I don't want to manually open over a thousand ports.
I originally wanted to replace my 5-year old iBook 600, but Apple's current laptops don't do it for me. And I love my iBook. It is the most stable and reliable computer I have ever had, and it has travelled with me everywhere (with "everywhere" being Germany, Ireland, and Israel).