I got a PS3 as a gift about a month after they were released (early 2007) And here are my thoughts:
(I don't have an XBox, and only played on it a few times...read some XBox reviews if you are trying to decide between each system)
No problems with the hardware or system itself (knock on wood)
Saving, Loading and simulations are much faster than a PS2 ---its like night and day the speed.
The controllers are light, and hold their charge for a long time. Even if you only play by yourself, you'll probably want 2 controllers so you can have one charged up so when one goes dead you don't have to play with it plugged in. (A new vibration/rumble controller is out or soon to be out...I may pick one of those up)
The games are quite expensive brand new (About $68 after tax here in CA) However, when I am done playing with them I have been able to sell every game on my eBay account for $40++ meaning I only paid less than $30 to play the game. I'm not sure how long this will continue, but it is a nice thing about PS3 games.
I may be mistaken, but I think you have to have and XBOX Live account in order to play on-line with an XBox (which cost money each month) The Playstation is Free as far as I know, which is nice if you only play on-line a few times a month/year like I do.
The games are usually no different on and XBOX and PS3--sometimes one is slightly better than the other in terms of clearity and gameplay, but for the most part the games are still equal on both systems.
I have gotten prompted to download software updates at least a dozen times over the last year and a half--not sure what they do every time, however Sony is updating the system and that is nice. (You should plan on having an internet connection so you can update your PS3--I think you can manualy install software updates, but its much easier if you have it connected to your internet connection.)
I have played a few Blu-Ray and DVD's and that goes fine and without problems.
You can do lots more with your PS3 (Pictures, Music, On-line Stuff, ect....I just play games for the most part, so you may want to check some other reviews on that stuff.
One Tip: I have the 20g model (which they don't make anymore) For me, its more than enough space, I haven't even come close to going over and having to delete stuff. If you are a casual gamer, go with the smallest Gigs they make to save yourself some money. If you play a lot, and use all of the features, you'll go with the larger one.
My overall satisfaction is A++
I wish there were more games, but I don't play too much anyway (and they are expensive) so its not really that big of an issue. I would recommend anyone buy a PS3 if they can afford it-its been well worth it.
Thanks for reading, hope this helps, Check out my other reviews on all the PS3 games I have bought over the last year or so. Thanks again, NorCal Sports