Imagine this, you're visiting the other guy's office, turns out all of their staff working on the shiny aluminium entry level iMac, back at your office, you only equipped by your boss with the Dell tower + the standard monitor, keyboard and mouse. You run Windows XP pro and the other guy using OS X leopard, however, the catch is both of you are having the same computer in the terms of specifications and only differs in the operating system used and of course, the chance of using a fancy computer (as Bruce and Fred implies). Thus at the end of the day why do you did not have the same motivation or could produce the same productivity compared to the other guy? (assuming you guys were working on the same field) Now imagine this, your wife cooks in a completely standard kitchen and for her book club meeting she made a buffalo chicken wings. The other guy wife, also make the buffalo chicken wing in a fully modernised kitchen, however the same ingredients were used. How come at the book club meeting all the people come to the other guy's wife's chicken wing and not your wife?
And finally in an article in the lifehacker, the guy who created Ubuntu promised that in a period of two years he will create a linux distro which will be more prettier and flashier than OS X. All is done to get people to use Ubuntu and thus creating more support towards it.
All of the examples above were suggesting that prettier and flashier machinery or equipment will make yourself more motivated and eager to do work thus increasing productivity. To put it into more sense, it is all about the user experience, whether to create a simple proposal or creating a tables with number or even to show off a fancy presentation. This user experience have to some extend push a creation to become more and more fancier thus giving better user experience.
However, for some people this is just a lot of gibberish. Better user experience would not ensure that a person will work more productively, it is all just depending on the person, well I myself also couldn't agree more.
Anyway, what about the rest of the world? does a fancier machine and better user experience will make you more productive, or does simplicity and easier manipulation of the tool is the key to happy boss?
I personally think it is depending on the person him/herself, and well a pretty equipment does help sometimes.