@ AC and joe about *.ubuntu.org
"Lack of redirection -> people depend on a single server" and "24+ hrs dowtime in a row gives a bad image". You're both right. Canonical is not up to my standards either (and that's the *other* reason why I'm not using their distro -appart from Ubuntu distro being a bastardized Linux, which is itself a bastardized UNIX.) (1)
On the other hand, I definitely don't want a redirection when I'm dealing with security updates. That would be Bad Practice in all its splendor. And as stated before, the good thing with open source is that you can grab the source and compile it yourself, in case you need an important fix that is unavailable in binary form. You're not dependant on binaries. That's a tad less practical, but when security and stability are crucial, it can be a life-saver. Also, if you're really paranoid, you can (and should) review the code to make sure it does what it says on the box (if you're too lazy or lack the competence to do that, there are plenty of code wizzards who are actually doing it for you, which is not quite the case for closed, proprietary stuff).
Now a quick note for the dinos: I do know that x86 is what ruined real computing, but hey, it's cheap (especially since MS took over the world: you can get tens of perfectly good 10-yo machines -and parts- for free. You could almost be paid to take them if you wanted to.) and with a reasonable amount of redundancy a "free" (as in "I didn't pay for the hardware") x86-based cluster can hold itself against an expensive "big iron" piece of kit quite well. (yes, I've got some space. And I don't need no stinking heating during the winter: I just fire up my x86 cluster ;-) )
(1) DISCLAIMER: I do like mixes, and bastardized stuff.
Debian GNU-Linux is my choice for desktops and laptops (I'm waiting for a full GNU-Hurd port of Debian), bastardized allright but very practical (ready-made support for about any x86 hardware you can imagine, huge binary repositories, near-perfect package management).
DragonFly BSD is what keeps my cluster spinning (with a touch of genuine Open BSD here and there -hey, sometimes stability *does* matter) -this might eventually be migrated to Debian GNU-Hurd too, if and when it's stable. BSD lovers, flame on!
And I'm using a BlueBottle machine as my firewall (it's written in Oberon. Bring it on, script kiddies, try and find a kit to hack that! Dog bless cryptic OSes).
So I do like mixes, and "unlegitimate" OSes, but Ubuntu is just too bastardized for me. Namely, it has MSWindows-like genes in it. Barf.