After getting loads of terrific advice from Mac enthusiasts in response to my request on what Apple to buy, I think I've settled on an iBook. Portable, possibly better Wi-Fi reception than a PowerBook, cheaper but sufficient for my home needs--which may leave me enough extra money to add for a Mac mini or big network hard drive for my main media storage.
But my assumption that Apple's better for media just got shaken. Dave Winer plugged his new iPod into an old Mac and lost all his music and audiobooks. Then Yahoo's Jeremy Zawodny upgraded his iTunes software and lost 1,200 songs.
When a couple of people with far more tech knowledge than I will ever possess can't get their Apple media stuff to work right, I wonder what I may run into. I probably will go ahead and get an iBook anyway for all the usual reasons--and be very careful about backup. But incidents like this sure don't give much comfort to potential switchers like me.
UPDATE: The commenters who trashed Dave (and Jeremy) for supposedly making dumb mistakes should check out Dave's update:
Plugged the video iPod into my desktop computer in Berkeley, and watched very carefully as it erased the contents of the iPod without confirmation. I didn't accidentally click OK giving it permission to erase all the content on the iPod, it did it without asking.