I've had mixed comments about how much better Mac perform than PCs. I know that Mac will always out perform a like PC
This is simply not true.
No machine outperforms the other. As far as operating systems go, Windows and Mac are theoretically equals. Neither one is "better" than the other.
The "outperforming" comes more from the user end of things.... personal preference... skill, talent, and aptitude... which machine works better for that particular user
, and how that user utilizes his aforementioned skill and talents with said machine. This is why you have received "mixed reviews" and why you always will when you ask that question. Everyone works differently and everyone will have their own opinion.
You aren't as likely to receive an unbiased view on the matter.
Yes, some machines are built with more options, depending on what they will be used for. The "Pro" line of Macs is (more often than not) much more than any average user would need as far as power and options are concerned. That is why there is the consumer line (MacBooks, iMacs). These machines are not crippled, dumbed down, worthless, or otherwise simplified computers. They are simply made for the every day, average computer user.
The average user won't need to run Adobe Creative Suite apps, Final Cut Pro, Macromedia/Adobe Studio apps, AfterEffects, Motion, Maya, and any other professional-level software.
The average user would be fine with the 'Express' or 'Lite' versions of those programs, and those versions would run just fine on a consumer-line machine.
So, to get back to your question, what applications do you use and what do you plan on doing with the computer?
You mentioned music production and digital imaging. Is this your profession or a hobby? What applications do you use for those things now?
What setup do you have now and does it do all that you need it to do for you currently?