Well, yes. And, “thinner, lighter, wireless” are all huge benefits, which I had hoped I made clear in my comment. An iPhone or a MBPro whose components do not wriggle loose and fail is more reliable than a device that falls apart because of an improperly spec’d socket.
The OP sees only the costs, and compares that unfavorably with a platform that can have new parts swapped in. I would argue that the “decent Windows laptop” that needs more RAM and storage after a couple of years was probably under-spec’d in the first place.
His main point—that current Macs are pretty much as-is machines out of the box—is true, and that’s what my response reflected. But what neither you nor I has said is that the same 2017 MBPro I used as an example is not only still useful, but feels like a current model. My most recent workplace went through three different Windows machines over the two years I was there, trying to keep up with their weekly streaming demand. They all felt fine out of the box, but could not keep up with the task.
I think it’s healthy to churn through this upgradability vs. reliability/performance discussion periodically. The very fact a Mac will still be churning away 10 or 15 years after initial purchase means that many of us face replacement decisions infrequently. The first Mac I actually owned, an SE I purchased in 1988, was in daily use until 1994, and I had done everything I possibly could to that “closed” machine including adding a Mobius portrait monitor and internal display card to it. The first Mac laser printer I owned, a LaserWriter Plus that I purchased used in 1989, lasted nearly 10 years and it endured a motherboard replacement that effectively sped it up and doubled its vertical DPI density.
I did not want to ever replace either of those machines. I got full value from them. I paid for new Apple hardware (a Quadra 640, as I recall) and it was a quantum leap. Each new machine over these 35 or so years has been a similar experience, and it has lasted a long, long time. (I can’t say the same for the HP laser printer that replaced the LW+, which had RAM slots but terribly cheap mechanical components that failed.)
Each of my succeeding Macs has actually taken away an upgradibility component or two, but has preserved the longevity and functionality factors that make Macs less expensive over time.
Those are benefits that can seem invisible when it’s time to retire a Mac and we’re faced with a choice between a $2,500 MBPro (for those of us who need the capabilities) and a $1,000 something-else that has ports and slots out the wazoo.
My argument has always been that I’d rather spend that money once and use a machine for 10 years, rather than spend it on three or four machines over that same period. I’d also rather spend my time accomplishing my creative work than “working on my computer.”