I last installed a RH/Fedora OS almost ten years ago -- RedHat 6.0. I loved it. I pulled down sources from RPMFind.net and compiled them to try them out. I used that distro until the wheels fell off -- GCC became out-of-date and could not be updated nor could programs written for GCC-4 be compiled successfully under GCC-3, or so I heard. Same for the kernel, RH-6.0 being one of the first users of the 2.4 series (2.4.11, IIRC). The most modern kernel I remember installing on it was 2.4.35!
That took about five years. (I HATE installing and especially configuring new OSes!)
I used Knoppix 3.2.x for a year or so as a hard drive install but it would not update, Knoppix maintaining no repositories themselves, and the distro being incompatible (libraries) with Debian's repos.
I moved on to Ubuntu clones, Mepis-6 (two years) and Ultimate-2.0 XMas (six months.) No probs except I feel left out of the process. When I installed UE first time, a few things didn't work quite right. I ignored them for the time being, spending time finding and installing programs useful for the way I live -- Ufraw, ufraw-Gimp, Gimp, Digikam, (I have a pro-level DSLR and shoot RAW-DNG) and such. Then, after an update, the probs went away. Obviously, the updates fixed them, but I was not aware of how. Then, I was offered an opportunity to upgrade the distro to the newest one, and I tried it. Now, the system is not borked but imperfect, so time to install another.
I will try Fedora 11 (it's downloading now) with workstation compiling tools and see if I can keep it going for five years or so like RH-6. Or at least until GCC-5 and kernel 2.8.x become ubiquitous, whichever comes first.
Did I mention I HATE installing and configuring OSes?