My main limiting factor has always been the need for a work computer (compiling, doing lexical analysis, processing gigabytes of text) with the need of an "art" computer (better bus, better sound, better GPU, no hum, lots of ports). I also found that the 24 hour on work cycle meant that I never got around to the art. And the computers wore out too quickly, leaving me with the hassles of reinstalling software and arguing with software providers that yes I had worn out another computer in 9 months.
So I found the purposes antithetical, and I eventually got a 2nd-hand Mac to do the art on. This means less free stuff, and living with older hardware and the non-tweakability of the Mac, but overall I am happy. I can't say if it would work for you (bicameral artificial mind)
Re Windows 8, I have had it on and taken it off two laptops, because of various problems with older software not running. But I quite liked how keyboard-y it was. I ran Finale (which makes use of Bidule in the Aria player) very happily on win8 if that helps, ditto Audacity, Frescobaldi and Lilypond, Musescore. Arturia virtual instruments worked really well but seemed every now and then to crash. I never got my iLock to work so anything that used iLock wouldn't run. I still use the Windows machine for all of the musical arrangements I do. But now I am back on Win7 for work and I miss win8 very much.
I hope that helps