Harry writes "Microsoft's new Windows ad, with shopper Lauren buying a cheap 17-inch HP laptop instead of a $2,800 MacBook Pro, has unleashed the whole 'Are Macs Expensive?' debate again. I'm diving in with a pretty exhaustive comparison of the MacBook Pro against machines from Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Sony that were as comparably configured as I could manage. The conclusion: High-end laptops tend to carry high-end prices, whether their operating system hails from Cupertino or Redmond. And the MacBook Pro wasn't the priciest of the systems I compared." We looked at this question, not in as much depth, a couple of years back.