Not to start any flames or ask any specific questions,I would just like to post an experience I had with debian (my first and only one).
I usually use a redhat based product,not redhat anymore,as they seem to have money driven issues,so now mostly mandrake.But some people I know said,hey try debian,its better,faster and it rocks.Well this went on for a good long while,and one day while having some issues with my mandrake and its lack of wanting to upgrade the distro online,I said screw it and pointed the old browser at linux central and picked up the latest debian release (woody).
First off the text install was pretty retro,compared to what Im used to,but I said hey,a no frills kind of deal,lets see how it turns out.Got it installed,luckily Ive done a number of linux based installs,because its not very newbie friendly.Rebooted,and first thing I noticed is that it went to the old lilo text boot: prompt.Well that wont do,but seems easy enough to fix,hit enter and watched the boot info scroll by.Thought to myself ,wow it looks like some BSD just crapped across the screen...okay,fix that later..started checking out the packages I installed and noticed that some of the dependencies were connected by convienience,rather than true dependencies,e.g. KDE in no way depends on koffice,how that got in,I have no clue,built kde from source without it,installed kde from rpm without it,etc.
Oh,well,lets remove that problem...read much much much documentation on dpkg and apt-get, okay remove packages not needed.Hey look,linuxlogo...maybe that'll spruce up the boot process...wait a minute,I now need to run apt-get -f because these packages I removed wont let me progess with my new package installs.Damn.
Link lilo boot.b to boot-menu.b,run lilo -v ,reboot.Now have updating logo scrolling amongst the bsd-looking boot process,ewww. and so on and so on...
Long story short,I spent two days trying to get debian to boot and look the way I wanted to,when I finally sat back and said to myself,I just spent the time it takes for disks to get to my house to get debian to look like something with a little polish,and over those two days succeeding very little.So I ordered the new release of mandrake.
My whole point may sound like the rambling of the insane,or some redhat based enthusiast(of which Im not),but its often pointed out that the face you put forth first is often the one people remember longest,and while this may be trivial to the developers and programmers who use debian,the end-user such as myself with little knowledge of how to easily correct these problems will probably steer clear of this distro.
On the up side though,debian seem to run faster and cleaner than anything Ive used so far,and perhaps when the polish is applied and it looks a little snazzier out of the box,I'll come back,but until then I'll have to just say no thanks.Maybe some people out there will take this as the constructive criticism its meant as and point it in the right direction,and more likely some people will take this as an attack that its not.
All Im saying is that until its more idiot firendly,Ill have to take a pass,because IMO the bad outwieghs the good.
Thanks for your time,