Well, I wasn't really in touch with the Mac community when they made the PPC switch (I didn't go online much until a few years later), but I remember from some magazines that some people were very upset with the move, because the early generation of PPC systems were SLOWER than the 68k systems they replaced (mostly due to the fact that just about everything ran in emulation; we'll be facing that problem again with the move to Intel).
I remember the 9-X switch perfectly well, though. I hated everything about OS X. I can't count the hours I spent ranting about the abomination that was (and is) the Dock. To be honest, I'm still horribly disappointed with OS X, but I've come to sort of accept its flaws. It's the best OS there is, don't get me wrong, but it sure ain't good. For their time, System 7 and OS 8(.6) were really good. They had a consistent design philosophy, common sense, and attention to detail behind them, which OS X is sorely lacking. As far as philosophy goes, I think the Mac died with the birth of OS X. It took the Mac into a completely new direction. Really, the only thing I like better about OS X than OS 9 is the evolutionary stuff preemptive multitasking, protected memory, etc. Everything that's really different (design wise) was better before, IMHO. I'd STILL like to smack whoever got the idea to make translucent menus with dynamic shadows. HARD.
And just for the record, my beard is a nice shade of auburn (see avatar)