I use XFCE, and with Linux 3.3.7 and 3.4, I have been having an issue with Intel 915 graphics where icons and the title bar go black after a while.
Yes, it's annoying. Yes, it's reported.
But -- I had another issue involving the "rts_pstor" card driver in the kernel staging drivers. I need that driver to support a new-ish card reader. The icons for inserted devices were not appearing on the desktop. Reported and fixed in 24 hours.
Mind you, that isn't why I choose an Open Source Operating Environment. The reason I did was simply that it better matched my needs.
As an added benefit, it is far more advanced and useful to me, as compared to the current common Closed Source Operating Environments. These would be Windows 7 and Mac OS X.
Defect reporting is centralized and automated. Driver support is more complete. Security is much better.
(abrt, rts_pstor as an upcoming piece, and tripwire/selinux/firewall as standard components, if you really want to know).
Tripwire on Windows? Sure, it's available. Not common, though. I imagine it's also available on OS X, but I've never seen it. SELinux (MAC?) Yes, since Vista for Microsoft. Good on them. Must be embarassing to have been "beaten to the punch" by Open Source OS's. Fedora Core 2 had SELinux but it was disabled by default -- Fedora Core 3 had it enabled by default -- released in 2004. Vista was "beta'd" in 2005, and released in 2007.) THAT may have been an effect of an "Open Source" development model. The Fedora (subset of Linux) community has had a few additional years to adjust to MAC systems.
Now, these benefits have little if anything to do with being "Open Source". The benefit of "Open Source" is that I could go and find the graphics defect myself if the normal support channel doesn't resolve it.
What is interesting is that my ecosystem is as robust as it is. As I have mentioned in an earlier post, the Fedora community is probably 2 million (could be more, could be less). Hard to count, but small compared to either Microsoft or Apple.
And yet I use a World-Class Operating Environment. Of course the priority of the communities is different. The Fedora community is much more aligned to my interests. This may simply be because it is a much smaller community.
So, I may have a few more problems with "niggly" bits, but I have a community more aligned to my interests, and a top-shelf Operating Environment that is superior to the top two commercial products.
A tradeoff that I have made.
Note, though, that for other people, the tradeoff may be different. For instance, at home my kids use Macs. You dread Linux (not clear why, but, ok).
So, different tradeoffs.
Back to the HARM of closed source. Programs that stop working (examples from my collection include Microsoft CD-ROM encylopedia for MPC). Platforms that just vanish (Palm). Data that is no longer accessible (for reasonable cost). Use of "Open Source" gives a hedge against these problems. It may not completely eliminate them (for example, material on 8 inch floppies is pretty much no longer available), but if physical formats are brought forward, there is a good chance that the data and programs will still be usable.