Uggh, I feel like a turncoat in saying this, but having received some "propaganda" from Intel (read: freebies), I've got high hopes for the Pentium M line. They're nice processors from just about every standpoint. While most Apple zealots have done the "OMG, STEVE SAYS IT IS GOOD, SO IT IS GOOD! ALL PRAISE STEVE!" routine, my motives are slightly different.
For instance, Apple now has the opportunity to manufacture sub-1700 dollar (that's Canadian) PowerMacs: Intel Chipsets and CPUs are far cheaper than custom north and south bridge ASICs (I can't remember for the life of me what Apple called their ASIC), as well as PowerPC processors. So from a business standpoint it ultimately is a good decision Apple made.
I remember people making the same "OH MY GOD, APPLE IS FINISHED!" declarations when the m68k to PowerPC transition took place. It is boring, please stop, they're still here 11 years later, I'll bet we'll still see Apple around in another 11 years.
Though, why they chose to use a Phoenix BIOS I will never know, since Phoenix is an aberration. I was disappointed we wouldn't see x86 machines with OpenFirmware inside. But c'est la vie.
Nonetheless, I'm no real fan of the IA32 architecture, simply because it just feels gross, especially when developing software targetted at it... you can tell it was extended in a gradual fashion, as certain behaviours change based on who implemented it/when it was implemented. Not a good "feature" for a CPU.
Also, I know this sounds like a troll, and I love MIPS for embedded work as much as the next person loves it as a workstation -- hell, I love my SGI workstations too, they're just great machines -- however, MIPS is dead on the desktop. There is no future for it in that role. But, if the Pentium M is all it promises to be, I shall for sure purchase a PC with a Pentium M CPU -- and run Linux on it!
I must say, I'm going to support R-10-K's statement about Intel's fab. They're virtually second to none, and I know some extremely skilled EEs working there who are doing a great job of meeting mutually exclusive goals (backwards compatibility with previous generations of IA32 CPUs and implement and innovate new technology). I hope to join their ranks one of these days (after the MSEE and PhD are done I suppose, heh).
But seriously, for your next computer purchase, consider a Pentium M! It's well worth it!