Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
I've run Linux since before the turn of the century. I've installed, run, and reviewed LFS, Arch, Debian, and Slackware. I ran Gentoo for years and years. I remember when we not only had to go to the MPlayer site to download and install the win32codecs, but we had to also re-compile MPlayer and Xine to use them. I remember when I had untar, build, and load the NVIDIA drivers and edit the xfree86 configuration file by hand... after I rebuilt the kernel for agpgart. Shoot I remember as far back as to have to setserial support for ISA sound cards, modems, and such - after tracking down hardware addresses and interrupts. I've setup and run Web servers from the cli for years. My point is I know Linux. I love the commandline.
But after 10+ years of fiddling, I've come to realize one significant thing:
All hail the easy to use!
I don't presume to speak for all Linux old timers, but for myself, I like a distro that I can install and go. This includes multimedia codecs and browser plugins. This includes drivers for my proprietary hardware. This includes a pretty desktop. Install and go Baby!
This is why I like SimplyMepis. I like Linux Mint. I like PCLOS. I like Sabayon. I like Pardus.
Oh, I still like Slackware, Debian, and Gentoo too, for nostalgic reasons, but when it comes to choosing a desktop these days, I pick from the first list.
I know why the bigger commercial distros can't include all that stuff and why some others don't. But this is why we hope these smaller projects never give up and go home. They make life easier and these days, we can all use that.