I bought mine a few years back because it had bluray, and at the time is was similar in price to a bluray player.
I'd imagine now that theres 100 dollar bluray players, people have the choice to buy a 360 and a bluray player for the same price as a ps3.
I didn't start playing games on my ps3 until much later on. But the nice thing about the ps3 is it includes online gaming, wireless networking, bluray, and a decent sized hard drive. So if you're looking an xbox elite or a ps3, hardware wise, the ps3 is more bang for your buck.