I remember the day the iMac launched. Apple's web site, except for the Support section, was replaced with a single page saying "Pro. Go. Whoa.", and the subtext of "Don't miss what will happen here today". The day was significant in a couple of ways. First, it was the unveiling of the four-box plan: Apple's computer lines would be pared down to four categories - a laptop and desktop line for consumers, and one for professionals. Just a couple of years previous, Apple had up to 40 different models. One of Amelio's big plans was to pare that down, and he at least had halfed the models by the time he was ousted. I think this plan was what really saved Apple. They had a plan that proved to the world that they were actually focused. This all came after many of the other shakeups that had happened during and after Amelio left, which included the end of Apple Research Labs, the Newton, and other distractions. Apple's pretty much stuck to this plan since, with their only major gaffe being the Power Mac Cube, which didn't fit so neatly into the four-box strategy. (The strategy's gotten a bit bigger since then, with the XServe and iPods now sitting at different ends of the spectrum).
And then there was the iMac. "Whoa" was right. It was exactly what I had been wanting (although I wouldn't actually own one myself until the DV editions perfected the concept). At the time, I wanted a computer that was simple and self contained that would be like an appliance, useful for web browsing, chatting, etc. There were plenty of "NC" concepts floating around at the time, and I was even considering getting one of the larger-class Windows CE devices, but suddenly here was a full featured computer at a reasonable price that pretty much met all my requirements, and more. It was a well timed knockout. The iMac DV series improved many of the outstanding issues of the original iMacs (better speakers, firewire, etc), and I've happily had one at home for the past three years, and have had very few issues with it (except for the 13 Gb hard drive which once seemed so big no longer satisfies me - and there aren't even any mp3's on this box!)
It's a little surprising to see them go away (almost) completely. I think Apple could just as well price them at $300 and dump them over the next few months.