For some time now if you have recorded a CD, it likely has gone through a program called Pro Tools. They are the dominant product in the industry, however, there are some others that have been gaining popularity recently.
One of those “others” is Logic Pro by Apple. I have never used this program, but it looks good from the screen shots I have seen (not that that is everything...), and I am interested in giving it a test-run at the very least. At $1000 for the application it is a good bit more than Pro Tools LE, and a good bit less than a Pro Tools HD system. Of course one would still need hardware after that initial $1000.
Enter Apogee. They have partnered with Apple and created an A/D D/A converter for the Macintosh platformed Apple software. Its called the Ensemble, and it has four pre-amps, and other I/O ports enabling up to 36 channels of simultaneous audio. (More info here.)
It looks like one of the coolest features this has is the ability to digitally control the I/Os digitally via software UI. This is a feature that I do not think is available for Pro Tools hardware (at least at the LE level, which is where my experience lies).
Also of note is the Symphony, a PCI Express card for Apple's G5, which allows up to 192 simultaneous channels of audio. More info here.
Another thing that is important about this, is that many of the top studios are bypassing the Pro Tools I/Os in favor of Apogee's Digital/Analog conversion. This could be big. The major hurdle would be the PC/Apple gap, however, most major studios are already running on Mac's anyway.