I often argued with apple fans, and one thing that was clear to me, is that people that tried apple products around 2008 or so often would just love it, and many would become apple fans too.
I used my first Mac around that time, and although I found some stuff just silly (mouse with only one button...) I overall liked it.
Fast forward to launch of Touch Bar...
Now I see lots of division and love hate relationship with apple... Still, my sister moved to US to be a researcher, invited by top universities (she even did a 6 month stint in MIT, at their request!) And was offered to pick a computer. She always liked Apple and other "fashionable" brands and picked up a machine with touch bar and would get mad at me whenever I pointed out it's flaws (like the impossible to repair keyboard), until the touchbar suddenly died and the machine would not boot anymore... She took it to Apple and they just swapped the whole machine.
Then keyboard broke... Another swap.
Then the fact upgrading it's RAM was unecessarily hard and expensive and needed urgently (an app to analyze microscope data was outright refusing to run).
Then she came to me, sheepishly, to ask me to recommend a non Apple computer, and said Apple was worse than what I said...
Thing is, it is not just her, I have the impression that current Apple is opposite of 2008 Apple, instead of making weird but good stuff that create hardcore fans, it is creating products that are just bad and makes haters stop hating, and just ignore the company, and fans start hating...
FWIW the stereotype of Apple targeting "beginners" who are after "fashion items" is ridiculous. There are millions of "professionals" using Macs. It's a fully functional Unix with a GUI that gets out of way.
Pick any project you consider excellent, and you'll find someone working on it that uses a Mac, even the Linux Kernel. Now, try to argue against that person's reasons, not some figment of your imagination rendered into a sack of stereotypes.
Apple does not do improvements, it just forces changes!
When was the last time the changes were dominantly necessary for the sake of users? It was more like marginal in the past 10+ years. Instead doing excessive actions for the sake of questionable features mostly created for the marketing department and the clockwork keynotes!
Revolutionary keyboard, charging, touchbar, blooming of adapters, eliminating connectivity, sacrificing usability for the rampage of thinness, force touch, new UI for the sake of new UI just to name some of the biggest issues!
Apple well deserve the condescension!!
(not the Apple users! They are just unfortunate trusting Apple)
I am a Designer and I have an animation degree, there are lots of Macs in the field, and they are not for "professionals", but for actual professionals, the computers I mentioned I used were MacPros that were actually rather interesting machines, and it was sad when Apple decided to stop making them (now they are making them again but with ludicrous prices).
What I DID mean, is that my sister is prone to being a "fan" of a company, instead of choosing only for the product quality, and this was a factor in choosing Apple's stuff, and more importantly, a factor in her being defensive about the company.
What I mean is: Apple attracts certain types of people, including some that become fans, but they are not stupid, if products are bad they start to hate the company instead, and Apple is attracting their hate right now with crappy products.
Sometimes things even shift in a single product over time: establish a good reputation, then water down the product a couple years later. All the die-hards leave, and the rest are none the wiser.
IMO $6k is just too much for a Mac Pro, except if it rocked a 3990X (do it, Mr. Apple!). It might actually be worth the money, even still. Apple seems to support Mac Pro OS upgrades for ~10 years after release.
While I was never an Apple fan, I started to respect their products after my android-linux-hacking phase (Couldn't find better words for that period of my life).
Up to the point of considering getting an iPhone since I don't fool around with my android phone anymore, but what I wanted the most was to have a MacBook.
They've always looked so sleek and overall good looking, including the nice looking OS which seemed to have a functional GUI over a Unix core. And then I got one.
Last year my current job assigned me one to contribute to our mobile codebase. It's a MBP 2019, 15 inch.
From a hardware perspective:
+ Excellent screen
+ Good looking design
+ Nice speakers
+ Touchpad is nice
- The touchbar exists
- Low key travel (bad keyboard experience overall)
- Lack of non type-c ports (dongle land)
As for the software, my first MacOS experience was Catalina and the only issues I've had I'm not sure if I should blame Catalina or the software per se.
I use Emacs for my text editing needs (and more) and it has been nothing but pain (Some outright freezes, buffers have chopped display sometimes).
Docker experience is just bad. Since It's not natively implemented it has to run up its own vm to work and having any small container running will turn up the overall heat on the machine which, thanks to the bad keyboard, I can feel at my fingertips.
Homebrew is painfully slow.
The GUI is fine, but with the recent advancements on the other DEs (specially KDE) I really don't see any advantages.
Overall if Linux had better support on Apple hardware, I'd have a partition with it and only boot on OS X for mobile dev.
Isn't it impossible? It's soldered to the board.
Then we have Catalina, Catalyst apps, the breakup of iTunes that’s turned out to be messier.
Except for iPhone hardware and wearables, Apple has failed to demonstrate innovation, honesty, integrity and responsibility in other areas.
The Six Colors Apple Report Card for 2019  provides some scathing feedback from some well known names who live, breathe and talk Apple. It’s mild in some places, but never have so many people from this background been so critical on so many things (as I recall).
And I hate Apple products too.
I've boiled it down to- it can compile iOS apps, and you can use Unix commands. The first is Apple intentionally being anti competitive, the later is a genuine benefit that I nearly am unaffected by being a Windows/Linux user.
However the strangest thing came up in my research, the number of SWE that said they liked the way it looks. It's shinny.
I genuinely don't know what to think about Apple users decision making.
1. The most important reason is that the Mac UI is generally consistent and powerful: both the appearance but also keyboard shortcuts, modifier key behavior, etc. Neither Linux nor Windows has both of these. Linux has never had a consistent UI and Windows is just a mess (e.g. two control panels in Win10).
2. Compared to Windows, vastly less of the advertising and key-logging nonsense. No Candy Crush ads for example.
3. Compared to Linux, better software availability and quality. There's the obvious big players (Photoshop, Office, etc), but Apple's own apps are quite good. I'll take Keynote over Google Slides any day. In general Linux software is also available on the Mac (VLC, Gimp, etc) but the reverse is not true.
4. iOS integration is sweet: Reminders, Notes, Messages, etc. It's awesome when a 2FA text message arrives on my phone, get forwarded to Messages on my Mac, and then Safari offers it in the text field. (Can I do this anywhere else? Honest question.)
5. For me, Linux and Windows upgrades have been more problematic than my Macs. For example, Ubuntu 16 upgrade left a broken glibc and I had to reinstall.
I believe that Apple's software quality is trending the wrong way, and am very suspicious of Catalyst, so there's cause for worry. But I still very much prefer to use a Mac today.
It also doesn’t seem that you have “tried very hard” to understand the benefits of a Mac. “you can use Unix commands”? That’s the big benefit you discovered?
I'm genuinely trying to figure out where I'm wrong.