It seems since I've had my iMac and viewing forums, that problems with Permissions & Preferences is a very prevalent occurrence in OS X. I have repaired permissions several but have only had a Mac for about 4 months. It needed it on one occassion.

I get the spinning beach ball a lot more now seemingly for no apparent reason. When the iMac was brand new, never saw it. I don't know why - there's nothing new installed. I use the internet alot - I have scanned for viruses with MacScan - nothing. I only have 512MB of memory and probably need more but my iStat usually reads around 120MB free-maybe someone can explain the beach ball's sudden affinity for showing up so much. I'm not anoyed - it usually goes away in a couple seconds. Just doesn't appear to be any reason for it - come to think of it, an hour glass is a little less alarming though.

Anyway, it would seem that Apple could implement some solution for problems with Permissions & Preferences that would be a little more automated - although for some reason it feels so good to run Repair Permissions doesn't it.