As a long-time Linux user, I certainly have my own gripes about Linux as a desktop OS, but a lot of these criticisms you're bringing up don't ring so true in my experience.
I've been using Linux for about 10 years now, and using it as my primary desktop for probably about 8. I'm definitely a geek, but I'm not a serious programmer nor a hard core computer nerd. In all that time, I think I've recompiled the kernel once many years ago (maybe 6-8 years ago), and in that case I was using the tools provided with the kernel source deb, so it was pretty easy. I can think of one other instance (probably 2-3 years ago) where I had to compile kernel modules for some hardware that was pretty new and not yet supported in the kernel. It was annoying but relatively easy, and I only had to do it a few times before the drivers started being included by default. Now, it's not really desirable to have to do any of that, but spread out over 8 or so years that's really a pretty minimal amount of extra work for anyone with a bent toward computers. People always make it sound like you have to recompile the kernel every few months, and that has never been my experience, so I always assume they're talking about the early days before I was really using Linux.
As for the easy of use issues: My girlfriend is a life long Mac user. Several of my friends had Macs. I find there are some things that are easy for them and hard for me, but then there are some things that are a pain for then and trivial for me. There have certainly been times where a Mac user can view some media that I can't play or will get much better performance playing it, but there have also been times where they can't play some video file that mplayer has no problem with. There is hardware that I can use for lack of drivers, but just the other day my gf got some bar code scanner she couldn't get to work with OS X that was plug and play on my Ubuntu machine. It's probably true that on balance you'll have more issues with Linux, but I haven't found it to be night-and-day the way it's often described.
In more general terms, I have yet to see an OS for a general purpose computer (i.e., something that's not dedicated or a specialized piece of consumer electronics) that can be accurately described by the slogan, "It just works!" To quote the Dread Pirate Roberts, "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." I've seen Macs, especially notebooks, with all manner of weird malfunctions. Again, it could be that statistically they're better than other computers (although I doubt it for the notebooks), but it's not night-and-day.
I can see reasons to use a Mac (or Windows), but for me they would come down to more supported hardware and software. Most of the other criticisms had not loomed large in my experience as a (layman) user.