My first expericence with a Mac was in 1985 when my work group at Boeing Helicopters got a Mac II. Color! 13" monitor! Next to the monochrome early PCs it was a piece of beautiful genius. It took a few years before I got my own Mac at home - a Macintosh LC, and I was a Mac diehard for all of the nineties. It was in 2002 that I was due to replace my five year old Power Mac 6400 and just couldn't see the Apple product that was going to get me what I wanted for less than twice the price of a top end PC. I ended up buying a Sony desktop machine and that started a 7 year hiatus from Apple products.
Well, not entirely true, because I did buy several iPods over that time. Oh, and an iPhone 3GS eventually. It was when I decided to dabble with writing iOS apps that I got back into Apple computing hardware, as that's kind of necessary the way Apple works. I ended up buying a Mac Mini, which is possibly one of the most underrated and understated pieces of hardware around. I bought the slick bluetooth keyboard and the magic trackpad and that is just a beautiful system.
Then, when the old Dell laptop was due for replacement last year I ended up buying a 2nd generation Macbook Air, which is just amazingly beautiful and oh so functional.
Steve Jobs was brilliant. He had a knack for figuring out ways to get a hand in your wallet and your pocket no matter what and make you enjoy the experience. iPods? Sell 'em for we premium and keep milking it with iTunes. iOS - sell the iPhones/iPods/iPads for a premium and cream 30% off the app store revenue.
He was no saint - he did kill off all the corporate philanthropy programs at Apple when he came back in the 90's (then again, I'm not a big fan of corporations playing fairy godmother anyway, so it would be interesting to discover his motives for that). He was a bit of a tyrant by all accounts, but he did lead an insanely great company to dizzying heights.
I think all the hand-wringing about the future of Apple is misplaced - Jobs needed lots of talent around him to do what he did, and that is still in place. Just don't screw it up...