Not to be mister negativity..
but if you're really that in the dark about studios and gear..etc.
"i've had a bit of experience with recording before but nothing much"
Before you toss thousands of dollars into it perhaps you should
just buy a small used stand alone recorder to see if its something you
enjoy, if its something you can grasp, if its something worthy of taking
the next step and investment.
While I agree with your view here in a way, a PC based studio setup is not really quite as expensive as you might initially suspect for the simple reason that your Mac or PC is not strictly limited to running your recording setup. I use a MacBookPro with a Digi003 Rack - the MacBookPro also goes to work with me, surfs the net, does my drawings (I'm an architect) etc etc - so the cost of the computer is pretty much negligible in the scheme of things.
Also, it depends on exactly what you want to record - if you want to plunk down guitar tracks and a sketch vocal line, sure, a small standalone thingy will do all that - but if you ultimately aim a bit higher, then unless you are reasonably serious and fork out for ProTools, Logic or Cubase (or similar), you are really just backing yourself into a corner with some pretty huge limitations.
We have recorded and released three albums using ProTools and a Mac, and remixed a couple of others for friends - Pink Floyd probably have slightly better production, but we found we could get awfully close to the absolute top end of "indie" production with just this setup (and a huge amount of time!) - track editing on a Mac is blissfully easy, the various plugins that ship with ProTools are more than enough to keep you going for a few years, mixing is also blissfully easy because it is all visible on your screen. I did some work on a Roland VS1680 a few years ago (back when it was the best standalone box in the market), and staring into a 2" x 3" LCD screen to try and figure out what was going on was just soul destroying - as was the final production quality which came out the far end.
So, as an actual, you beaut user of a Digi003/Mac setup, I cannot recommend it highly enough - we record drums in a great studio here in Sydney, burn the ProTools tracks onto a DVD - take 'em hoem and load them into the Mac and overdub everything over the top of that in the comfort of various band member's living rooms - when it's all done, we take the setup to a mastering suite and plug it into their gear and get the same mastering quality as any other mainstream band can get here in Australia - every studio I know of uses ProTools, and it is 100% compatible with the LE version sitting in my Mac.
That is my experience - PC/Mac is very much a personal issue - they work for me - likewise ProTools/Logic/Cubase/Nuendo/whatever comes down to personal reasons - Cubase is beautiful for MIDI editing, but not quite as nice for Audio editing (my view here), Logic is great, but I have very little exposure to it, but for me the clincher is the cross-compatibility of Pro-Tools - you can't really record a drum kit at home - you need tens of thousands of dollars worth of great mics AND a great room - but you can spend a day in a good studio for a couple of hundred bucks, and your drum tracks are ready to be taken home - marvellous!
It's all huge fun, and you will learn stupendous quantities of stuff about what sounds good and why - so I say, get to it!