Comparing the cost of Macs and PCs
That article also contains links to price comparisons on Mac laptops versus Dell's. When the machines are comparably configured , the Macs are priced about the same (although it wasn't possible to configure the two machines to be totally identical).
Admittedly, if you don't need all the features provided, you can leave out some features and get a cheaper configuration of a Dell.
However that is not the whole story. What is the "total cost of ownership" (TCO) of a Mac versus a PC as you go forward down the road. Here is a quote from an article on the subject by a security expert who uses both Macs and PCs:
"The results of this TCO astounded me. For my small enterprise, owning a WinTel box for three years costs twice as much as owning a MacTel. When I talked with several of our clients, I found that the burdened cost of ownership per PC - just for support - ranged from $1,300 to $4,000 per year."
You can read the rest of the article at this link and also download his spreadsheet and a pdf with suggestions and instructions on using the spreadsheet to calculate your own total cost of ownership.
Turns out that Macs are much cheaper to own when all costs are considered.