I switched to Apple OS X in December of 2001 before the iPod had brought Apple to the masses, and before Mac laptops dominated tech/web conferences. It suprises me today that only 8% of the market use an Apple, but I suspect the slope of the growth curve is approaching the fat end of the hockey stick.
I am surprised more people have not switched because it works so well for me and I am a demanding user juggling roles as a server administrator, programmer, designer, consumer working in mixed OS environments and often on the road.
I didn't always love Mac's, in 1997 while working part time at the UCLA library computer lab I had the painful experience of assisting students with our 20+ Mac's running OS 7.1 and our 100 Windows NT boxes. I too was an Apple hater, network printing on OS 7 was inconsistent at best.
My desktop applications needs are greater than 99.7% of users
After college I went on to do some ASP programming, web design, and PHP programming. In 2001 I was offered a dream job that involved learning how to run Cisco firewalls and routers, Windows Servers, and setup Linux file/mail/web servers all while managing around 200 NT desktops across 3 continents. During this period, I used Windows 2000 and needed to install multiple VPN clients, an external SSH client, a network tools application, a virus scanner and a spyware app to get my job done.
Ignorance is Bliss
I didn't know any better so I thought I was cool because my Windows startup menu had a ton of apps on it. These days I don't need any of those apps, OS X has the same functionality built in from the first time you boot up.
Once I found out that OS X was a port of FreeBSD, I was intrigued because I knew how much power you have on *nix command line. I switched to a Mac in December of 2001, in the IT space I was an early adopter.
By 2002, I had dual well paying roles as an IT consultant and a Web Designer / Developer. That year I must have convinced 6 people to switch. It was easy back then, Windows was running amuck in spyware and viruses and the masses had no idea why the website is down. Ubuntu had not come out yet, and Linux was not a viable Windows replacement.
There is no other operating system as versatile as Mac OS X
Since then, Apple has shipped multiple OS's and the iLife suite has gotten really useful for the masses. I have never ran a virus scanner and never had a spyware issue. From the built in command line I manage the servers that run our business. Using Adobe's tools I can design interactive websites. Using Firefox I can do some kung-fu around the web.
At one point I helped manage 300+ windows desktops, when your Dell breaks good luck their support sucks. Sony isn't any better, they require driving to an authorized repair store. Now when I have a problem I call Apple and they take care of it, no more runs to Frys Electronics to replace a failed hard drive.
There are many people I respect who still use Windows or Linux as their desktop OS, I know some day most of them will switch. My experience has been that those who kick and scream the loudest before switching are also the ones who sing the loudest after they switch.
If you are a parent, you will love the built-in parental controls a Mac has. There is no need to catch a predator because they will never be on your kids whitelist.