I have a Lenovo Thinkpad Edge e520, and I have a few points to share.
Do those laptops with "better specs" also have stellar keyboards, trackpads, and displays? What are they made of: metal or plastic? In the case of mobility-oriented devices, do they weigh less? Are they smaller/thinner? Do they have better battery life?
Thinkpad keyboards are far superior to any Mac keyboard I've seen.
My trackpad has buttons and is very nice and clean to use.
I'll admit my display is average (1366x768 matte). However, more recent laptops are moving towards 1080p.
As anyone will tell you, thinkpads are (relatively) indestructible.
I've got a dedicated graphics card, and a pretty decent one for a laptop at that.
It's definitely not small or thin, but as we've seen with the new iPhones, thinner is not better. And size is not much of an issue.
I have a theory that the Apple battery monitor lies. If it were to be believed then a Macbook would have nearly double my battery life. However in actual use, my laptop lasts a little bit longer (up to 30min).
I don't mean to imply that all, or any, of these questions must necessarily be answered in a way that's favorable to Apple. What I'm trying to point out is that raw internal hardware specs don't tell the whole story, and aren't always enough to satisfy every need all on their own.
Definitely. A lot of my friends have HP Envys (Envies?). All but one of them has been plagued by hardware issues. Not to mention that even a very minor drop will probably break or bend something.
Speaking personally, OSX is a must-have for me. I run a Windows partition on my desktop for games, but I do everything else in OSX (Ableton, Scrivener for writing projects, Java/Ruby/Obj-C/Swift coding, and so on). I simply prefer it over Windows, hands down. And that goes double for when I'm on my laptop, because OSX is simply superior as a laptop OS.
You ever tried Linux? Both Linux and OSX are Unix-based and POSIX compliant, so it should be mostly familiar for dev use. But Linux is free (as in beer and freedom) and isn't restricted to Apple devices.
So far my analysis has put my PC laptop and a Macbook at roughly the same level.
On the hardware side favouring my laptop.
On the the usability side they're roughly the same.
On the shininess and aesthetics the Mac is (not surprisingly) better.
This is the part where I bring out the price comparison.
My Thinkpad (from 3 years ago): $660 US.
Current Equivalent Macbook: Somewhere between $1200 US and $1500 US. Both the $1200 and $1500 models do not have a dedicated graphics card.
I don't know what calls for the more than double price.
EDIT: I'd like to clarify that I don't hate Apple devices. I hate the Apple mentality and the majority of its userbase. I also just cannot understand the reason for the pricing.