I say buy it either way. If you have an ATI card, you may have to fiddle a bit to get it to work, but if you have a reasonable system with a reasonable nVidia card, it's gonna run like a champ. And I definitely agree with RIT Beast, it's the best of the bunch, even replacing SMAC as my favorite TBS game.
The game is riddle with all sorts of minor bugs that don't nescesserly destroy the experiance, but obviously need patching. Many people have experianced moderate bugs like graphical glitches, slowness and desktop drops. Many of these types of issues can be avoided if your willing to do a clean format and XP install. Some people have reported severe virus like bugs that caused severe software failures and blue screens of death after installing the game, these are a bit more rare but I found at least 15-20 people that had these types of problems.
Outside of technical issues with video cards, obvious miscalculation of minimum requirements, miss labeled CDs, at least 30-40 minor in game bugs or oversights and of course the chance that the game will completetly crash your game, it's actually a good game if you can believe. In fact, I would easily say it's the best CIV game ever made if I wasn't unlucky enough to be one of the hundreds of people experiancing technical problems. In my case I can't load saved games, which I suppose isn't nearly as bad as some of the problems people are having but it definitly takes away from the experiance.
On the bright side, strangly enough the multiplayer is actually more stable and has less bugs then the single player game, obviously the result of Q and A testing focus.
Should you buy the game? Depends on your personal deamenor, I rushed out even after being warned of the countless bugs and technical issues and have spent the last week frustrated over a stupid game. I don't regret buying it, but I'm anxiously awaiting a patch that will hopefully fix my tech problems.
In my view, SMAC is the greatest TBS ever made. It has held that title for almost ten years. I cannot yet say if Civ IV will dethrone it.
But I can say this: After three days of Civ III, it was obvious to me that while Civ III was not without charm, it would never come close to matching SMAC. After three days of Civ IV, Sid's latest offering is still very much in the running.
Of course you should buy it. Just make sure you have a machine that can handle it.
Thanks everbody, I think I will wait to but it. I really do not want to spend 50 dollars and have a gmae I can't even play. It is my fate that if anything can go wrong with my computer will go wrong. Besides if I wait a little the game will hopefully be a little cheaper.