Ubuntu (and it's variants) and OpenSuse are pretty damned good, it's literally minutes and you've got an integrated, modern KDE, or Unity or GNOME up and running. You want more software of security patches? It's just a couple clicks and you're there. Now if you had some concrete numbers on instability or performance numbers then you could talk about something, real numbers, not just hearsay.
Thing is, I don't think you can find and interesting performance difference between Linux and FreeBSD, excluding the possibility that there might be a few pathological cases where one really out performs the other, and the Linux community is such that if you could produce a real benchmark, they'd invalidate it before too long and fix the performance problem. And from my own experience shipping products and running businesses on it, I don't think you could show a substantial difference in reliability. Now one thing I know you could measure the difference on is the amount of time managing them and I think Linux has a gigantic lead here.
I'm not a BSD hater exactly, but they need a better story than they've had and they need a different sort of community. If you like oldskool like UNIX, real UNIX, then BSD is just the thing. If you want UNIXy like stuff with some more contemporary things (think upstart, systemd, I don't know a full desktop UI) then Linux is pretty clearly the choice. Now that newer stuff may not be what you want, I'm personally sort of surprised how well Linux does in the embedded world where a BSD might be far better suited in a multitude of ways. PCBSD is getting nice, it's still nowhere near the level of polish that Ubuntu is though. LLVM and Clang have finally provided them with a non-GCC build chain option, there has been a ton of cycles spent on GPL vs. BSD licenses and in this particular case, I don't see how BSD has benefited in those discussions, at the end of the day the difference fundamentally lets businesses do stuff and just not contribute it back. Maybe I'm wrong but while BSD was worrying about a build chain, Linux platforms were building GNOME and KDE and remarkably simple graphical installers and easy to use automatic patch systems and support for tons of hardware and the list goes on.