Also if you're looking for quality (opposed to freedom or configurability) Linux on the Desktop really doesn't fit. I adore it on the server, but there isn't a distribution/hardware combination where essentials sleep/wifi/graphics/sound work out of the box. UI inconsistencies are a constant annoyance, dist-updates will always break something etc. It's not an indictment of Linux, it's just that GUIs are terribly hard to get right.
As you note: I reckon Linux isn't much better. I switched to Mac when Ubuntu dropped a bugfix for Ethernet encryption in 13.04 which prevented me from working for my employer (and reduced mouse controls in the UI since 12.04).
I'd pay $200/yr for a maintained OS.