Re: @westlake - A good question
> The fundamental problem here --- the elephant in the room that no one ever talks about ---
> is the lack of compelling programs which are Linux only.
Agreed - but NX comes close for my money...
I run a Linux box which is always online with good connectivity - costs about £5/mo.
I have NoMachine installed on it, and on my work laptop (which is MS).
Fire up an NX connection and I have all my *nix utilities (including the one game I play, which is running under wine because Win7 doesn't support it) available. That's nothing special - but various other family members can do the same thing, at the same time (so that £5/month is getting cheaper) and if my connection drops I can just pick up where I left off later.
I can run either a remote desktop or just run an xterm and fire up other programs on demand.
It's also a secure connection, so work doesn't get antsy about my network usage, 'cos I'm using my own connection.
Had to set up a Windows box recently and I somewhat floundered with various tasks I used to consider "easy and obvious" - I could do them under *nix, not windows any more. Inertia is the main reason most people continue to pay M$