That's the first time I've ever heard anyone refer to the SIO as a bad thing! I always loved it and the plug and play/daisy chain advantages it had, just like USB today, but 36 years ago! Not to mention much cleaner looking than having huge, ugly ribbon cables for everything like on the Apple II! I think Atari and Commodore got it right with their cables, a lot more commercial looking to me, while Apple II's still looked half commercial and half garage-enthusiast with the ribbon cables. And I don't get where he's coming from with more expensive Atari peripherals than Apple, here in the states Apple hardware was ALWAYS 2-4 times as expensive than Atari and Commodore hardware! Where were Apple peripherals sold cheaper than Atari? In the U.K? But he's American anyway, isn't he? So I'd love to know where he found Apple hardware for less than Atari in the states!
THE reason I'm an Atari 8-bit owner and fan comes down to price. After the ZX81, I would have gone to Spectrum, if they'd been supported in the U.S. like the ZX81, But Timex stopped support soon after the Spectrum's release and those Spectrums, (Timex/Sinclair 2068 here in the states) are as rare as hen's teeth. So Apple was my next choice, having experience with them in school, and I desperately wanted the Apple IIC, but I had to save up and buy it myself, computers were pointless game machines to my parents at the time, so they wouldn't buy one for me. but I made it to about $300 in savings, About the 1/3-1/2 what I needed for an Apple, when Atari introduced the 130XE line with 128K like the Apple IIc, so I jumped ship metaphorically and with the money burning a hole in my pocket, got the Atari. I never looked back, the Atari was so much better than Apple 8-bits, it was destiny. I got my 130XE for $199, an off brand tape deck for about $30, and 3-4 games for the whole $300. Another six months and I'd saved up the money for a 1050 from my part-time cashier job. And no monitor required like with the Apple, I could use a 13" TV I already had in my bedroom!
though for the life of me, I can't think of what Apple peripherals there are that you can't get for the Atari. Printers, plotter, modem, taped drive, disk drive, Midimate for synthesizers, Multi i/o box for HDD's, parrot digitizer, Covox voicemaster...what else is there for possible peripherals that Apple had that Atari didn't. he must just not have known about all the Atari peripherals or at least not third party ones.