I hate 386s. I think it has something to do with them just being boring...a 486 can be stretched to the point of doing modern things. A 286 is more or less vintage and has interesting limitations. The 386 however, despite being revolutionary (perhaps evolutionary is the better word) when it came out, gets no love from me. I gut and destroy 386 systems when I find them.
Now, if we talk modern, I feel my heart sink into my stomach when I see some unfortunate soul using an Apple, HP/Compaq, Apple, Dell, Apple, eMachines, Apple or others (or Apple). I think most techy people would agree though that home built is the only way to go for modern machines.
Depends on your view of history.
When the 386 came out, it really was something very new and exciting. Imagine, an X86 that could execute 32 bit code and implement true virtual memory, not that brain-dead segmented 286 mode. There was a wonderful demo of QNX with browser and PPP connectivity that would run from a 1.44M floppy on a 386 with VGA.
I still have a couple of 386s--one is a 16MHz Micron that's pretty slow; the other's a 33MHz I-forget-what that's somewhat better. I don't believe either has an NDP chip.
I mostly have these around for very old hardware that won't work with anything faster. But both will boot Warp.
I find the 286 based systems far less exciting.
I'll agree that home-built systems are the technological way to go, but Apple does have it's charm with it's proprietary everything. Besides, most of the real classic computers were all proprietary, and that's what gives them their character and charm. The only thing I wish is that they ALL had serial ports on them. Getting data off a classic mac is extremely painful.
However, the Macs of the 90s were very bland. They wanted to look like PCs, but they didn't want to behave like them. It made for some very ugly computers. The iMac series have brought back character, even though I'm not fond of ANY version of MacOS.
Even the "ugly" Apple cases are still some of the best designed computer cases IMO.
I've had problems with the plastic that 90s macs are made from. The stuff is incredibly brittle and snaps if I look at it the wrong way. Makes for easily disposing of an unrepairable one.