There is a lot of value in the low- to mid- range cpu market - and they provide ample power for most users (remembering that MOST users do not play complex games or run serious media editing applications!).
Wife's primary desktop runs an AMD Sempron, and mine runs an Athlon 64 X2 (Power User!
) - both systems are running multiple HDs, dual boot (XP/Win7 or XP/Vista), contain 2GB RAM, and discrete nVidia-based graphics cards.
My wife does have a fancy laptop that is used for heavy duty programming, but that is more of a security / segregation issue than a capability issue, & she maintains several websites using the desktop, as well as doing Access, Excel & Powerpoint projects. (Although I think all PowerBuilder work is now done on her laptop.)
My laptop runs a 450Mhz PIII (Yep....) - which perhaps explains why I think our Dell Mini 10v is just peachy! We have a second Athlon X2 which I have earmarked to replace our current "family / backup" machine, which is also a PIII, although running at 1Ghz. In addition, have 2 old towers that I use as "mules": yet another PIII AND a PII, both with Promise cards and removable drive bays stuck in to permit mounting various HDs, including laptop drives (useful for cleaning malware / junk off the drives....).
And, yeah, somewhere in the basement workroom there is indeed a system with a TURBO button, that still ran the last time anyone bothered to turn it on. Also, we still have my first PC hanging around: A Columbia VP, running an Intel 8088....