I need for a new keyboard and mouse to use with my Mac, and I’m looking for recommendations. Right now my PowerBook is spending most of its life on my desk at home, plugged into an external monitor, drives, and network, and I’d like to throw a real keyboard into the mix. My PowerBook keyboard is getting old (over 3.5 years now), the down-arrow key is starting to stick, and it makes weird clicking noises sometimes. I’d like to replace the PowerBook soon, but for now I’m more interested in having a keyboard that I can be productive with without accruing a couple grand in debt.

I spent a few minutes at the store yesterday and found three things:

  • I don’t really like the the feel of Apple’s current keyboards.
  • Microsoft’s Optical Desktop Elite has a decent-feeling keyboard, and I like the idea of having a scrollwheel on the keyboard. I have no idea if I’d ever actually use it, though.
  • Logitech’s LX500 package has a okay keyboard, and it’s around $25 for a keyboard and mouse after rebates.

All of the other keyboards that they had on display sucked. Most keyboards are too mushy for me. My personal favorite is from NMB–they used to make a really nice keyboard with real keyswitches that clicked a bit while typing, but not as bad as the beasts that IBM used to make. Unfortunately, I can’t find anything like that on the market anymore. Apparently mushy is cheaper, so no one stocks non-mushy keyboards anymore.

So, I’m basically looking for three things:

  1. Has anyone used either of the keyboards that I listed with a Mac? Did they work okay, or do they need some nasty driver before anything works right?
  2. Does anyone know where I could find a modern USB keyboard (ideally with a Mac option key instead of a Windows key) that uses real springs instead of a membrane?
  3. Does anyone have any other keyboards that work well that they’d recommend?