That said, I am not a sysadmin...
You did not have to tell us that, it is quite obvious from your post.
I do not like having to patch my kernel... < to yadda, yadda, yadda >
I AM a professional Linux systems administrator and I have never had to do any of what you described over the last 15 years I have used Linux (Red Hat, Mandrake, Slackware, Gentoo, Ubuntu, Arch and various other distributions).
Maybe if you chose supported hardware you would not have this issue? You don't seem to mind having to buy supported hardware to run your precious OS-X.
I do not like having two(!) different sound systems being installed, and my system still not always have sound.
Checks current systems -- ALSA works fine for me out of the box. Extra sound system? I am a control freak so I got in the habit of building my systems up from a minimal install which means that I don't install that POS called Pulse Audio. I will admit that there are little pieces of OSS lying around but they never seem to get in the way.
Linux usability? I'm sorry it sucks. It always sucked. I used GNOME...
That is your problem there. GNOME sucks, not Linux. KDE has gotten as bloated as Windows so it is starting to suck too. Fluxbox rules!
1. It's hard. It's hard to do it right. It takes resources. It takes time. It takes expertise...
Hmmm... I am currently running CentOS on most of my multimedia boxes, mainly because I support Red Hat servers at work. Let's see, minimal CentOS install, install the RPM Forge repo RPM, yum install [fluxbox, vlc, etc.]. Not exactly rocket science there buddy!
As far as resources, if you are speaking hardware I have a P-II 300 running Fluxbox on Ubuntu in my workshop. The result is sweet, sweet music while I work on my carpentry projects. Can you even get OS-X to run on older hardware? I'll bet you need a CPU made within the last two to three years to get OS-X to install much less run.
Linux doesn't have the resources when it comes to interfaces, and everyday office software.
How many interfaces does the Mac have? One? There are plenty for Linux, it is the user's choice as to what to run. Choice is good.
As far as office software, Open Office works great for me. I even put it on my Vista laptop because the stupid new MS Office ribbon menu UI sucks big time.
There's no coherent feel, beyond shoddy. You'd think after all these years, someone would get it right, but they never have, because of #1.
All my boxes have a feel that is exactly right for me, because I know how to set them up that way. They are all internally coherent, which is all that matters to me.
I don't like having to run my computers the same way everyone else does because Jobs or Gates/Ballmer dictates that is how it has to be. And I sure as hell don't like having to pay for additional software to do simple stuff like changing the stupid Office ribbon menu UI into the old-school UI I prefer to use.
Desktop Linux can go die in an alley and rot, for all I care. Anything beyond a server, and it's worthless.
If you want to give Apple all that $$$ that is your business, I prefer to keep my $$$. Just because you are a major FAIL when it comes to setting up Linux does not mean that Linux is worthless to others.
By the way, I checked out your hacks to get MacOSX to boot on non-Apple hardware link. I don't have to perform ANY hacks to get Linux to work on my PCs.
The procedures listed on that page ARE system administration tasks and relatively advanced ones at that. Besides, I thought the reason you Mac fanbois run OS-X is because of Apple hardware. Why on earth are you trying to get people to perform the difficult task of installing and running OS-X on non-Apple hardware in the first place?
Informative my ass...