The only alternative to burning money is to burn time.
- Linux: Expect around 2-3 days of hunting for audio and display drivers and tweaking with the configs until it works.
- Windows: Expect around 2-3 days of trying to clean your system of malware and converting your old machine settings to the new one. (or just accept that you have to fight daily battles against the OS to be productive with the computer)
I'm currently using a Linux machine at home. Yet the thought of spending a day or two messing with the OS instead of doing something more interesting/productive makes me dread my next computer hardware upgrade. I had more time on my hands back when I bought my current machine.
It really depends on whether you really want to do self-repair. I have a hard disk with bad sectors, and I'm procrastinating to fix it (running on backup drives now), even though I could easily spend an afternoon to buy a new disk and migrate the data over.
Life is short. Time is precious. To each their own :-/