Thanks for the insights, Tim.
I do miss the other computer hardware players of the 80s. That era was one of great excitement and people interested in computing (like myself) simply absorbed as much information as they could. In particular, I miss the hardware vendors like Atari and Commodore whose computers had a certain richness and life to them that no current computer manufacturer has (except for Apple).
Any computer historian should not forget to mention the Commodore Amiga in any current discussions, as the computer was way ahead of its time. Think about it - they had a fully multi-tasking OS and GUI that ran in a fraction of the memory space that OS X requires. While Apple has the candy-coated OS X, I always think of the opportunity that Commodore missed due to mismanagement. The designers of AmigaOS were true visionaries who were thinking of the future.
So...Apple's 1984 commercial is not that far off from our present situation in the personal computing industry. One bland OS dominates the industry, with several other minor players simply trying to survive.