What you obviously do not know or understand is that Windows comes fully loaded to protect our computers--right out of the box. I haven't had to load any special programs since Windows 95.
You obviously don't do much with your computer. Or you pay someone to keep it up to date, or you just buy another one every time you need new updated software. Not a choice for most of us.
I am not a computer programming or hardware advocate. They are like pens or screw drivers to me - made to be used to do a specific task. The better they are at the task, the "better" a tool they are. I like Macs because they have always, since the first computer I bought (a "fat Mac" back in the mid 1980's), been "plug and play" items and all the Macs I have owned, and that is a lot of them now, including clones, have been rock solid reliable. I can't say that for the three IBM laptops, two Dell laptops and two Gateway machines I have owned or been given to work with, or have bought for my kids in college. Being truly "plug and play" means I don't have to know how they actually work to use them. It is like not knowing exactly how Sears contracts for someone to build their Craftsman screw drivers, and not needing to know that to use it. I appreciate that bit of consideration. I would venture to say you, Jaybaugh, have never bought a bare bones PC and then tried to do things like add a SCSI board to to it and tried to make it work, say, back in about 1998? Or bought a new printer and then found out you had to tell your computer what port to use to communicate with it, and then load drivers and so on? Windows has managed to better adopt some of the Mac originated concepts of user friendliness over time, but, most of us have had experiences with viruses or other malware that just makes life with these machines more trying.
I just threw that old fat Mac away because the power supply became unreliable - it was covered in dog hair from our shedding Samoyeds and overheated. It was more than twenty years old, still worked, but required a "c-clamp" around the outside of the machine to squeeze it into good contact with some part of a board inside. I chucked the 40 mB external hard drive at the same time since it had some out of date SCSI connection, and, let's face it, while 40 mB was fascinating and impressive in about 1984-1986, you can't even put a whole jpeg on it anymore.
My kids are tougher on computer hardware than I am, but, I have a vintage 1997 or so Mac laptop with the G3 chip in it that I still use for email, in service, every day. I also have a Dell that is from about 2002, granted it is a low end thing, that has all kinds of finicky issues getting on the internet, getting the LCD screen to turn on, and dealing with any hardware upgrades. The four IBMs I have had are all versions of Thinkpads, T-20, T-40, etc. One lasted three years in daily use. I travel a lot and used to take it with me everywhere, but I also took my Mac laptop because the IBM had difficulty dealing with wireless technology.
The other IBMs were ones my kids owned and none of them has lasted even two years without needing serious surgery and new guts. Kids are tougher on these things, like I said, but the school's extended warranty paid for most of the stuff. They have a group of students who are hired to work on them as part time jobs to pay for school. The group at RPI is pretty good, but they are constantly backlogged with work, and routinely have to re-image hard drives.
My younger son has a MacBook, it is going on two years and looks, acts and runs like new. He is a computer geek, and has Windows XP running on the thing (it is a Core Duo model and runs Windows natively). If there is a test of virus susceptibility, it is him. No viruses, no nothing. But he is pretty knowledgeable and worked with some guy when he was in highschool on a program (I think it was called Expost-Facto, or something like that) to hack into OS X to make it work on really old, unsupported Macs, including clones, which he had and dissected a number of times to upgrade from a 603 to a 604 then a G3 and finally a G4 chip.
So, my personal experience is Mac hardware is more expensive, and significantly less prone to wearing out before it becomes technically irrelevant. I am sure there are PC people with similar, great experiences. I just think the number of Mac owners with that kind of experience likely out numbers the the number of PC owners with that kind of experience, and given the number of PCs sold vastly outnumbers the number of Macs sold, I think the result is meaningful.
I also agree with the premise that Macs are not the primary or even secondary target for virus and other maleware writers. Given the fact that my own son figured out as highschool kid how to hack OS X and get it to boot from USB hard drives on Mac clones when it first came out, it is obviously not impervious to being hacked. Someone with the skills of a Windows virus writer should be able to figure out how to fuck up OS X and they will once they think it is worth the effort. In the mean time, Windows is still the target.