Linux is much more than a bit closer that it was 5 years ago. Just going from Mandrake 8.1 to 9.1 was leaping light years ahead from an ease of installation standpoint. When I installed Mandrake 8.1, installation was not the absolute horror I had heard about from other Windows users, but it still asked me what version of XFree86 I wanted to use. At the time I didn't know, nor would any other linux newbie know, what XFree86 was. I also had to lie to it and say that my ATI Rage Mobility wasn't really an ATI Rage mobility, but a Lynx video card because of driver issues. With 9.1, both of those issues are gone, and installation is an absolute breeze. I also upgraded my NIC and it recognized it automatically.
Is it perfect, hardly, but I'll take stability and no more patches over an easy install and a lifetime of crashes and the !@#$ing screen door that is Windows security.