That used to be a major issue before they switched to Intel boards. My parents went through four machines in three years until they got an Intel tower as a replacement. No issues at all after that.
And, yes, it does suck about Apple being that way. But if you do buy an Apple, you can do both. My PC cost me about $1300 to build myself and takes about half an hour a week in tweaking and updating and so on to keep running well. My parents machine takes 5 minutes a week, tops, and is stable virtually all of the time. I like using it a lot more when I have access to it, though it is completely useless for gaming.
Honestly, if it's taking you regular time to update and tweak you have a problem.