A friend of mine studied at an Art School and had to work mainly with Photoshop and Illustrator. He had to learn a bit of 3D modelling but it was not much (he didn't need a dedicated graphics card).
He bought a Macbook Air and was very happy with it.
The OS can be very user friendly and all Adobe products are available for it.
Hardware-wise its lightweight and aluminum body are top notch. Its specs may not be the highest but were enough for him.
You are right about Apple's recent bad moves (I will not get into the ridiculous patent matter).
Just explaining what you have cited: (not defending Apple in anyway here)
1) Java was removed from the standard distribution because they found many flaws on it. Some malware applications were using java to download themselves to the user's computer. But I think the main problem here was the old Safari configuration that allowed java applications to run automatically.
Their recent moves of making decisions for me (removing Java, trying to kill Flash, the removal of X11), their arbitrary removal of apps on vaguely defined moral grounds are anathema to how I view computing.
2) Not installing Flash on their iOS devices was a very clear choice of Apple. They raised a very high standard on how applications should run on iOS and what their performance should be. Flash is still very heavy on the processor and Apple stated that they are waiting a reply from Adobe on changes that make Flash faster.
3) I don't know why they removed X11. This is very weird.
Still, Java and X11 (now XQuartz) can be easily installed on OS X.
Edited by kuramayoko10, 11 September 2012 - 06:20 PM.