Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
After a disastrous 5.X series, FreeBSD's reputation for quality was mostly restored with version 6.0. Here we are at the first release milestone past that -- 6.1 -- and the good news is, it continues the upward trend. The (somewhat) bad news is, despite many little improvements, it's still not perfect.
Originally developed from the Unix-based Berkeley Software Distribution, FreeBSD is among the oldest extant Unix derivatives. It is currently maintained and improved by a large team of programmers, and supported monetarily by individual and corporate donors.
From FreeBSD you can generally expect a modern, Unix-like operating system, heavily armed with network services and tools. It is relatively easy to install, configure, and administer FreeBSD on servers or desktop machines. FreeBSD is scalable up to at least 12 CPUs (this is as many parallel CPUs as it has been officially tested with), which includes SMP support for Hyper-Threading and multiple cores.
Perhaps the FreeBSD team took a page from the OpenBSD playbook, and chose to make a lot of small modifications for 6.1-RELEASE. That's in stark contrast to many of the preceding releases, which introduced revolutionary code changes that, while great on paper, ended up causing more trouble than they were worth.