Is the Mac Mini a competent desktop?

I am considering buying a Mac Mini i5, but many of the reviews I have looked at are, predominately, people who think it would be a computer better suited for the living room or home theater (which doesn't make a whole lot of sense seeing as how Steve Jobs once said that people don't want traditional computers in their living rooms, and I agree). My needs aren't too high, although once in a while I would like to have the ability to put it through its paces. Could it run games like 0 AD well, because that would be the most load I would put on this machine.

Long question short, how is it's performance at the desktop level? 1st hand experience with the late 2012 model appreciated.

P.S. Has anyone hear any rumors of a refresh this year? Would it be substantial enough to wait a month or two?