The computer (I wish I knew who it was who originally said) is a stupid pencil with millions of colors. I'm rather late to the game in even appreciating the value of CG to filmmaking (that is, it took Jurassic Park to get my eyes clawed open).
After that, I was all about those awesome tools they used (I acquired one first in 1996; an Indigo R4000.) I still maintain and use a number of SGI machines: Octanes, an Indigo R3000, an Indy (which has an amazingly fast boot time), and an Indigo2. (All SGI IRIX machines are named after animals like Sarcosuchus_imperator, Paradoxides, Helicoprion, Carcharodon; the Macs in my employ must make do with names like Tsuburaya, Miyazaki, and Harryhausen.) Modern SGIs make use of conventional CPUs and are Linux, rather than IRIX-based, so I tend to pay far less attention to such things (and there is nothing more demotivating to the acquisition of new hardware like the feeling you're getting something that can be found in a common PeeCee). I now concentrate on the systems I have (one of the Octanes and my G4 PowerBook) in order to produce. I have a long way to go. But, CG has come a longer way, so I don't feel so bad.
Some good stuff (good == historical):
Pencil Test. Made entirely on (several) Mac II computers. (For some reason, I'm having trouble locating a similar project done entirely on the PeeCee. Anyone know of one?)