I’ve been a linux user on and off since Suse Pro 9.3 (I actually paid for the boxed version). And I’ve used a lot of distros (Arch, Debian Stable and Testing, Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, PC-BSD, the list can go on)
Arch I just did not like, after hours of work I finally got it running and then had to work build packagess that was a no go. Plus a good number of the users have that “my distro is the 1337” child mentality
Debian I really enjoyed Debian, but it is starting to feel like a slowly sinking ship and that will be a shame.
Ubuntu is alright it just never felt polished to me, and it comes with a lot of stupid software that I have no need for, the minimal install failed several times.
PCLinuxOS is alright but it being a 32bit distro didn’t work for my ram
PC-BSD was pretty cool I run my media server on it but I didn’t like it for my laptop.
And back to (open)Suse.
At first I was a bit nervous my last experience (10.1) was really poor, and sluggish. I first installed 11.3 in a vm to ensure it would work as I wanted. It worked great so I plunged head first.
I must say opensuse so far has been the most professional looking. Being a long time gnome user I wasn’t sure about KDE, but Suse is known for its KDE so I went ahead and installed it. Its snappy, clean, does not seem to come with to much extra junk software. Its rock stable, the default background is amazing (and not brown)
Multimedia was a breeze (ubuntu was slightly easier) nvidia and broadcom setup a breeze. Pulling 3rd party repos was a breeze (Yast did it automatically for me)
Overall I have to say despite the doom sayers crying over Novell and Microsofts deal I am really impressed with the amount of work that went into opensuse