I've posted this in other threads... so I will summarize it for you here:
Macs can and will crash here and there. All computers do. I would also like to point out that you may have to install drivers for some hardware and you will have to download updates.
Macs are not perfect machines. No computer is a perfect solution.
Many "would be" or "soon to be" Mac buyers are told that their shiny, new machines will never crash, never have a problem, "just work", they "can't get viruses", they "don't need firewalls"....etc. These are all simply flat out lies. Nobody can make such a guarantee to a person, as any and all computers are vulnerable to crashes and that no computer is perfect.
I am merely trying to give an accurate and sensible view on what to expect. I am not going to paint a rosey portrait about Macs, to dazzle new users and entice them to "join the fold" as some would like to believe, because the simple truth is, they are only computers and it all comes down to your personal choice, preference and needs.
Well put. But ironically, I think a lot of that sort of information comes directly from Apple, especially via their marketing campaign.
I was in our local Apple store yesterday (located in a pretty good sized shopping mall), and I couldn't believe how arrogant the sales representatives were in there. My girlfriend (who was with me) has a Mini, as do I. But the very mention of me also having a PC kicked off a 5 or 6 minute rant explaining to me how stupid I am for having one. "Macs have never, and will never get viruses...they're superior computers"..."Everything on these machines just works the way it should, they don't crash like your windows machine"..."Oh, you have a PC? Your processor is challenged? har har"...blah blah blah.
Let's face it, when Apple's entire marketing strategy is to bash windows, you're going to have a little bit of that kind of thing going on. It *is* out of hand though, IMO.
To the OP...the shipping issue may be a bit of a problem for you, but you can get a Mac machine running the current OS for very resonable prices these days. Buy used or refurbished, and buy online. I picked up my Mini for $350US. It's a G4, but it's a 1.42, 80GB HD, Airport/Bluetooth, Superdrive, ect. It's more than capable of performing day to day tasks.
Hope that helps, good luck in your search.
Regarding purchases on eBay, I suggest you email the seller of a particular item before bidding and explain to him that you're trustworthy and willing to pay the shipping charges required (provided you're not taken advantage of!). I think most people will not have a problem shipping overseas.