That's a myth from the BSD community. Absolutely the LAMP stack wasn't the BAMP stack. Possibly you can argue that Linux was ahead in 1994 because of the lawsuit but what about the 18 years since then?
There were niches like embedded where BSD was well established that they lost to Linux. BSD lost to Linux because:
a) They didn't care much about appealing to Windows power users who became the base of Linux. They focused on recruiting from the smaller Unix community.
b) They didn't have the GPL so they never got the industrial cooperation from hardware players that Linux got, contrary to their theories about licensing.
c) Their product is too damn hard to use, even today twenty years later.
That like your opinion, man.
There's a million different ways to argue this, from "Stallman poisioned the well by using propaganda techniques to make people into GPL zealots" to "The Linux community had a structure that was better able to scale development and evangelization". The truth is that there were many different causes, and we'll almost certainly never know how important each was, and how much of this was basically random chance.
I can counterfact some of your hypotheses above, in case you're interested in having a clearer picture, though:
For the "because of the lawsuit" argument, you seem to be arguing against a straw man. The argument was about being on a similar exponential curve, and Linux getting ahead, and the idea of network effects has always been included - ie, Linux got bigger, and because Linux got bigger it got a bunch of advantages that is just because of it being bigger, leading to extra growth for Linux and less growth for BSD. (I think this is a very partial truth, myself, and that there are structural differences that are much more important.)
There was very little focus on recruiting in the BSD community - there was a "put it out there and let them use it if they want to" and recruiting developers from the existing set of BSD users. There was no focus on recruiting from the Unix community - it just happened to that kind of people that discovered BSD.
Your GPL view may be biased by what side you've been following - you may well have seen companies that would contribute to GPLed projects because they would "get protection" - I've been on the opposite side of the fence, and seen a lot of contributions that were from companies that did this because they could have the freedom to do whatever they wanted, and would contribute the parts they wanted to contribute, and would have used a proprietary codebase to work from if they hadn't been able to use BSD licensed code. Overall, it is very hard to estimate which of these effects is larger - what I personally have seen (from watching the BSD community from the inside and the Linux community from the outside) would make me estimate the positive effect of freedom on company contributions to be much larger than the positive effect of restrictions, but people on the opposite side tend to consistently make the opposite estimation.
As for user friendliness: I switched from Linux to BSD back in 1996 because I found BSD easier to use than Linux, almost immediately after install. For many definitions of "ease of use", Linux has now beat BSD - but back then, BSD seemed at least to me to be much easier to deal with.