I like apt. It's sweetly convenient to do "apt-get upgrade" and not have to think any further. But it is the most useless PoS possible if you have no network.
I need advice for a decent distro that actually works in a normal fasion (i.e. 'hey, install the package in this file' without jumping through a billion hoops, and by the way, we have this nifty automated tool too, oh and we document things in multiple places instead of making you find the needles in the haystack of self-referential "no, see THAT man page" crap), without having to pay Red Hat's exorbitant support fees. I was thinking of checking out Ubuntu until I saw that it's just a Debian variant. Does Fedora fit the bill?
And of course all this stems from yet another round of "Linux can't do wireless". Decided I wanted to make my network more secure with WPA instead of WEP, had an article talking about how easy it was to set up wpa_supplicant to work on Linux, and away I went. My wife's mac changed over easily. My goddamned PRINTER changed over easily. Hours have been wasted in the last three days trying to get either one of my wireless linux boxes to work even halfway. I did get the laptop going, but if I run VPN (seeing as it's primary use is for WORK) it panics. Joy. And that's SuSE, so don't go there either. At least SuSE uses a halfway sensible package manager.