So I am going to start with just facts. The PS3 and the Xbox 360 elite are the same price. The Xbox 360 has Xbox Live which allows users to play games online for 50$ a year. The PS3 has PSN which is free online multiplayer. One great thing about PS3 is that it has bluetooth, meaning that you can use any bluetooth accessory or headset with it. Xbox requires special accessories designed for Xbox that may be more expensive. Another issue is WiFi. Xbox requires a 60-100 dollar adaptor to use WiFi, while the PS3 has built-in WiFi. The PS3 can also play Blu-ray disks. PS3 controllers are rechargeable, while you need special adaptors to recharge Xbox controllers. Another great thing about the PS3 is that it doesn't have a giant power adaptor like the 360 does, therefore the PS3 takes up less space. One of the ways that Xbox is better than PS3 is that it has many more exclusive games than PS3, and some would argue that these games are better than any of the PS3 exclusives.
PS3: 300$ new
Xbox 360 elite: 300$ new + 60$ for wireless adaptor + 50$ a year = 410$ for one year
Conclusion: personally, I think its obvious which system won this comparison. The PS3 can do many more things for less than the Xbox 360 can do. You could argue that for gaming alone the Xbox is better because it has more games and Xbox live is supposedly better than PSN, but I would rather have a powerful gaming system and a useful tool all in one. This review has not gone in-depth as far as failure rates go, but the red ring of death is famous for its 33% failure rate, while the PS3 only has a supposed 3% failure rate.