Simple answer - Yes.
If you have a movie file you can use AirPlay to stream the video to the Apple TV. If it's in your iTunes, then you stream it from the library leaving the laptop available for other tasks. If you're set up with iCloud and your media is there, the laptop doesn't even need to be on. Netflix works great and I think it looks better than if I use my "smart" TV's internal Netflix app.
I'm a PC/Android guy, but my wife is all Apple/Mac/iOS. I was going to get a Roku, but I grabbed an Apple TV on impulse. I really like it. Using in iPad or iPod as a remote works pretty slick (some disconnect issues there, but there is a physical remote as well).
Oh...and it supports Hulu Plus now if you're into that.
EDIT: Wow. That sounded kind of fanboi-ish. My Droid is probably going to shock me later.
No, I'm in the same boat. I also have a Revue and while it does a lot more, it has been a mediocre experience since it always crashes for some odd reason (lack of RAM was what I thought, but it wasn't anywhere near to full).
I'm also a PC/Android guy but I bought an AppleTV and jailbroke it, and I love the thing. It always (well almost always) works. It's fast at streaming my content and doesn't ever complain. And with hulu Plus it's a nice new addition now.
I've jailbroken/rooted phones and tablets. What does jailbreaking the AppleTV gain you?
Let me start off by also saying I hate Apple. They make nice products, but I hate them as a company. I don't like the fact that I support them, but I do.
I prefer the ATV to the Revue/Roku/HTPC options. I've used them all except the Revue.
I own 3 ATVs. My two ATV2s are JB and I no longer use my HTPCs. I have a ATV3 which I won as a prize which I don't use. The JB is a key feature for me. I do have XBMC installed, but only use the media player from JB. I use this to stream from my NAS or PC. The latest update added Netflix and I think Hulu? (dont use hulu, so can not confirm).
My two HTPCs are now useless to me
For anyone on a PC that wants to try this, check out Airparrot. Its great to airplay to the ATV from a Windows machine.
You can not JB ATV3.. or not that I'm aware of. ATV2's sell for more used + jb than they would new.
Last edited by HoL Lee Cows; 09-05-2012 at 10:25 AM..