I personally love Crunchbang. Especially using it on a netbook. Sure, I could download the mini iso for Ubuntu & install Openbox. Install tint2. Install numerous other programs. Tweak all the programs to do my bidding. Spend some more time getting the codecs for mp3s, avis & others.
But really, why would I want to go about doing all that when I could install an OS that is already really nicely configured & set up to do most things I already need it to do? And if I need to tweak anything, I already have most of it done for me. #! gets my vote for one of the best distros of 2009.
Experimenting with the hundreds of Linux alphawares, I agree with the original article. I'm glad that my chosen alphawares are NOT on his list.
My machines are running Win7, Vista (betaware really), OpenSuse 11.2 & PCLINUX OS.
The Linux is used to backup/ support the crashes on my M$ op systems. My choice of M$ "Windows killers" seem to be the best I've come across. But like all Linux systems, I have featureless, incompetent applications, compared to the freeware, shareware & commercial software & hardware that accompanies the most used operating system on this planet.
The problem with too many Linux distros is that they are driven by developers making solutions for which the problem space is limited. Ergo, small demand, little upkeep incomplete development.
What would be useful is demand side, or user based distro development. For example, the open geo spatial community has developed a customized distribution that has the main open geographic information systems tools included, some data sets, some math and physics tools, access to major repositories (I think it is a debian spin-off or ubuntu). They paid some minimal to reasonable amount to get it developed and it is a damn good tool that is being used professionally.
One could imagine specialized distributions for desktop publishing, web design, photography, education (uberstudent)etc being developed by a group of linux developers now developing their own distributions but instead reaching out to users and demanding some small fee to get them going or at least a guarantee of so many users.
Once some of these specialized distributions got going then moving the game to the next level, with interlinking, embedding, collaborating and expanding the tools could supply capabilities that Microsoft or other specialty suppliers couldn't match. That would make Linux really commercially interesting.
I cannot say anything on the matter I pesonaly run linux mint 8. It works GREAT for me, and I have never had a problem with it worth mentioning (except for the ones that I created). But either way I like linux because, for the most part, you dont have the bs that you get with windows, I mean you cant even watch tv without someone trying to sell you something to get you comp running. So basically all linux distros have that one thing in common witch in my opinion makes them all better then windows.