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To be brutally honest, most Intel / AMD X86 / X86-64 machines will blow the processors off of a Sun Blade SPARC workstation. However, please don't let that discourage you as it can handle everything you have mentioned and much more. Also, if I were you, I would get the Sun Blade 2500 Silver edition with dual 1.6 ghz and no less that 4 gigs ram. This is the machine that I own and picked it up on ebay for about $600 and it's very nice. SUN workstations have a much higher quality building engineering, thus the hardware is top notch in that respect. Running Solaris 10 on this machine and you will have an EXTREMELY stable platform on which to work. I own one of these systems and run Solaris 10 and inside Solaris 10 I do Solaris 9 and Solaris 8 development / testing running each OS in its respective zone. Consider this the VM technology of SPARC Solaris. :) You're absolutely correct in that Solaris is a very powerful UNIX operating system and the integration between SPARC and Solaris is unmatched when comparing to the X86 world. The closest competitor is Apple, which are also very nice.
In conclusion, I absolutely love my SPARC Sun Blade 2500 Silver and highly recommend any enthusiast to pick one up on ebay for cheap.
Ah thanks for the input! For now, I have one more question: what's the difference between the "red" and "silver" models?