Athlon 64 is the way to go. I build computer for a living (www.gamingcomputerpc.com
- shameless plug) and I get this kind of request from customers all the time. The AMD 64 is far and away better than any Pent4. I've seen countless independent reviews on this. Even with a 32 bit operating system the Athlon 64 is a bit better than the comparable Pent4. When MS has the new 64 bit OS in a few months, there will be no comparison.
Until Intel gets their rear in gear, I would only recommend a Pentium for those with only highly demanding spreadsheet work to do. Intel will continue to dominate in the corporate world. But for graphics (and I mean design as well) the Athlon 64 just rules.
And that is more than 2 cents worth!