Normal users cope just fine as USERS
At the radio station i used to run, we had a Gentoo box with XFCE for presenters/guests to use to browse the web/check email.
Everyone coped fine with being able to find the web browser and email client and use the machine.
The problem with linux is ease of installation and configuration (X is still a nightmare to do multimonitor with even after all these years - that said, the new nVidia tools available now make it much easier).
You can't rush linux into the desktop market - its taking time, but it is getting there. Two years ago i'd never have been able to let go of windows on my desktop machine - now i can, it's reached a stage where most things work properly.
the EEPC ships with linux, the OLPC ships with linux, Dell are shipping Ubuntu. Major public services around the world are switching to linux desktops. It's only matter of time, but it's not going to happen quickly.
For the record, my ideal OS would be as follows:
Ease of use and hardware support of windows
Filesystem and RAID management of Solaris
Software availability of Linux (packages etc)
Multimedia support for high end audio and video production of OSX
I don't have a clear favourite, i run all 4 :)