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I've been a big Linux user for over 3 years, and I've been very interested in trying BSD. My only foray into FreeBSD so far has been the FreeSbie live CD. However, I've been following BSD for quite a while, and have been considering doing a full install, but have been scared away by various press releases, reviews, and user comments in message boards (including those coming from BSD users themselves). My impression might be completely wrong, or misguided, since I have very little hands on experience with the BSDs. But here are my impressions:
FreeBSD - Well integrated kernel and userland. Supposed technical superiority. Efficient and stable, at least with the 4.x series. 5.x series has had major bugs/problems, which seemingly have not been fully fixed. When a major dev decides to fork because of the problems (to DragonFly), and when a user who likes BSD says it's as unstable as Win95, and when it gets lots of bad press, I decide to say "thanks, but no thanks". Major problems with infighting and politics within dev community also exist - I have no desire to start using a system that has internal politics amongst it's devs getting in the way of fixing problems and moving forward.
NetBSD - super portable, but don't know how useful, how stable, how fast, or how technically excellent it is. It claims to be very technically pure and simple, as a technical strategy for achieving it's exreme portability.
OpenBSD - super secure, technically excellent, pure code, super stable. It's major use has been as firewalls, and some web/file servers. Some have said it is slow. Installation is a pain (from just looking at the installation documentation - it looks absolutely horrible). No problems with internal politics because has central control from one individual (a benign dictator).
Thus, I just don't see, yet, the possible benefits of using BSD (other than OpenBSD if I wanted to lock things down in a network, or NetBSD if I wanted something to install on some obscure hardware).
As for technical excellence, speed, security, and stability, Debian and derivatives have that in spades, Slackware, too, is fantastic with speed and stability and technical excellence (if a bit more work to get installed and configured). Sure, some Linux distros have been slow, bloated, and buggy, and not so technically excellent (FC comes to mind). But if you stick with Debian (and some deriviatives) or Slackware, you will have a technically superior system.