Gorgonops wrote: certify OS X Leopard in 2007
But only on Intel.
agg23 wrote:And of what particular purpose is a general use UNIX machine?
The same as linux, in a lot of ways.
agg23 wrote:What would I get (end user) that I don't get in OS X?
Updated userland, regularly scheduled and ad-hoc security patches, and more flexibility than OS X offers in terms of window management and what services you want to run. In a *bsd (or linux) you can choose not to run a window manager at all, which may be of help to somebody who has a serial console (and an xserve which has a serial console port) and just wants to run it as a remotely administered, console-only computer. I do a very similar thing (but with linux), remotely, using SliceHost
I have actually been thinking about running such a local machine (sans GUI) for local productivity tasks such as having a copy of all my various inboxes in Alpine (I probably have a few gigs of email between the accounts I'd hook up), using ttytter, and syncing my dropbox so I can use vim/nano/whatever to do writing, when I'm not in the mood for Notepad++ on Windows or PlainText on my iPad.
Plus, such a machine (or VM on my big server) would be a useful test environment for things like "will all of my wikis break when I upgrade from PHP 5.2 to PHP 5.3?" (protip: they will.)
Having all of that on a separate, physical machine (such as a G5 if you can swing the electricity costs, new disks and a reasonable amount of ram for it) or even some other non-x86 platform is mainly valuable if you can deal with the platform differences, and you want it set up that way for a specific interest in the machine.
But that's if you want to use it as a server or console productivity machine (in which case I'd pull the graphics card too, if it'll boot up without it.) If you're interested in graphical productivity, Mac OS X is going to be your best bet on Mac hardware. It'll run all the apps it did when it was new, and as a few people suggested, you may be able to find old versions of some content creation apps on eBay, and in a lot of cases people will say that learning on those older versions of apps can be a valuable experience. (I would find it to be annoying unless there was a particular version of app for while a veritable boatload of training material had been developed, and you already had that training material.)