First, excuse the spelling. Im an engineer. Spelling is for secretaries
So, why are the local retail vendors in NY telling you AMD sucks? It has absolutely nothing to do with "Intel is american and AMD is german" as one individual posted. Its basically AMDs history. So lets have a quick history lesson:
Lets step back about 12 years, give or take. A big chunk of those vendors you talked to most likely used to run on the rapidly growing and successful (back then) TRI State (NY, Ohio, Penn) computer show circuit . Back then Pentium was the "wow" chip. AMD, new to the retail consumer computer chip arena, stepped up to the plate swinging the the not-so-almighty K6 chip. It was a horrendous failure, and in releasing it, AMD essentially shot themselves right in the face. What I mean to say is, the K6 really sucked. Badly. AMD cursed themselves with a bad reputation, and those vendors who fronted the K6s got serriously soaked on warrenty claims, consumer satisfaction offers and money back garuntees. With the K7 series chip, (P2 equivelent) AMD hit a homerun, and stole the performance crown from Intel, but it was too late. The damage done to AMDs reputation by the K6 chip was too deeply embedded into the retailer memories. To this day, this very moment, the bad rep persists. Case in point the guy who thinks its case of "nationism" He knows AMD has a bad rep in retail, but he doesnt know the history, so he guessed. So many people want "genuine intel inside" but dont know why. These are not people who build systems, read reviews or study performance charts. They only know what they hear, and lets face it, when was the last time you saw a "genuine AMD inside comercial"? Im not making fun of them, not at all. Theyre just victims of advertising. There was another manufacturer (whom I shall not name) who had an even more spectacular CPU series failure around the same time. Their chips were so bad as to be dangerous, to the point of actually causing fires!!! This only added to the "genuine intel" advertising fracas, seriously damning AMD.
So, thats why all those guys were probably telling you AMD sucks.
Something else for you and some others to consider. To the folks who were arguing/pondering the clock speed issue I say this:
Clock speed????!!! Who gives a crap if AMD ever "attains" the same clock speed as intel!
AMD: Same horsepower on half the cubic inches (or litres if you prefer) at a fraction of the wieght and significantly less fuel consumption.
Now dont get me wrong, I dearly loved my mustang, but arguing about how big its engine is completely pointless when a porsche blows by you. The porsche is faster, regardless of the fact that its motor is smaller. Period.
Whats all that mean? Go to the benchmark testing here or at anandtech. AMD generally equals or beats the "equivelent" Intel, even though the AMD has a lower transistor counts/lower clock speed. So who gives a crap if they clock less than Intel? Theyre still faster.
Finally, onto the original question. A computer is just about the worst investment you can make in terms of holding its value. A month after you buy it, at least one component in it is going to be available much cheaper. Ultimately, you have to bite the bullet some time, so consider this. Do you need a computer right this moment? If no, then wait. You'll always be able to buy faster-cheaper-LATER. When able, never, ever by newest generation stuff when its first released. AMD has been (contrary to the NY retailers opinions) pretty durn reliable with its new releases (at least relative to intel) since the K6 debacle. But the new chips are not your only concern. Where you run the real risk of getting screwed is in the other "new" hardware, specifically in this case , the mobo. The DDR2 has been out awhile, and the rest of the stuff is "seasoned" (for the moment). New video cards are dropping on the market so fast that their flaws arent even being fully identified before the next "newest" card hits the market. Just look at the ATI 1800 series issues just starting to surface, AFTER the release of the 1900 series. Well, guess what, the mobo/socket AM2/chipset combos will be brand spanking new too. Back in the day, the old rule of thumb with a VIA chipsset mobo was, dont buy one. If you insist, always wait until the "B" version of chipset came out. And with good reason. The A chipped mobos tended to have horrible reps. Ive had personal experiance with both and the reps and rule fitted. In your case, Id be much more concerned with finding a stable/reliable socket AM2 mobo, than worrying about the CPU value/reliability
So, if you can wait, wait, as so many others have posted here, and then, after the AM2 drops on the market, buy the cut priced socket 939 CPU. On the other hand, if you have an infinite supply of cash, and dont care about taking a little risk now and then, go bleeding edge and buy the AM2
Maybe what you've stated is not entirely wrong; but Intel was, is and will be a standard by which all else will abide: mainstream computing performance. It's happening with IBM, SUN & others. There's no way out of it, even if AMD has the lead, now. You can have a glimpse on what AMD's Fab 36, in Dresden is accomplishing, right now. Amazing, simply. But Intel is about 10x larger than AMD, at the moment. I believe it will remain so, for years to come.
In this respect, i'm glad not to be an US American; perhaps i can see things from a farther, less trendy perspective. AMD has achieved, in the later 2 years, a technonogical status most envyable by the competition (i.e., Intel), due to some less compromising approaches. It's a high-standard hard to hold on to, when the competition is that strong. Both being American (if one's confined to Intel vs AMD), i find it hard to take a definite side. Both have their strenghts & shortcomings.
The main issue has to do with the fashionable "performance per watt". Aside overcklocking related issues, there's almost nothig AMD can do that Intel can't.
Personnaly, i hold nothig towards Intel as much as i do towards AMD; not to mention other achitectures, i think you all [north americans] should feel proud of what you've got, up until now: two wonderfull approaches to the same architecture, promising performance / features-per-watt in the near term.
Swearing fidelity towards a single platform is, in my opinion, trying to bias the market into one or the other, without having the common-sense of being impartial towards both.
For me, it would be easy to stand by A or by B (or C & D...); however, for you, north americans, i think it should be more like "AMD's standing out, right now"; whatever will happen in the near term, both are american - state-of-the-art - technologicall giants.
And both have something to say, in the very near term...