Compared to Windows 98, Linux is actually an improvement in most respects. The hardware support is much better, and the memory management and stability seem better (to my untrained eye).
However, I never knew that the real Linux alternative, Windows 2000 (or XP--I'm talking more about the kernel base than anything else), was this good. I had previously been considering some computer upgrades, as performance on Windows 98 was oftentimes unpleasant and Linux had become too much of a hassle to be a viable option. There was always BeOS, of course, but that's a less viable option (for support reasons) every day. Windows 2000 has eliminated any suspicions I might have had that my computer was inadequately equipped. I may still get some upgrades, but rather than raw performance upgrades, I'll likely choose an amenity such as a high-speed CD-RW drive instead.
In fact, the sole problem I have encountered with Windows 2000 is that it doesn't play very nicely with one of my hard drives. Then again, this hard drive's partition tables were garbled by some angry Linux distribution a year ago, so it was unsurprising that it didn't work. I'm a little sad, because it did work in Windows 98 and all the Linux distributions I tried. If anyone has any suggestions about how I might go about convincing this drive to work, I would love to hear them, as I miss its comforting presence.
All in all, I advise Linux proponents to sample the real competition rather than railing against defects that no longer exist in the Windows arena.