"I would consider that kind of system instability to be completely unacceptable, but I guess gamers have very different priorities than I do."
Why yes, they want to play games. Bitch about proprietary drivers all you want, but open source drivers simply don't cut it for games less than 5 years old. Recent games have started *requiring* shader support. Do open source drivers provide it? Other than maybe the newest Intel chips, no. And ever since the great modesetting revolution, performance has gone to crap. Quake 3 isn't even playable on a Radeon 9600XT anymore.
And open source drivers aren't particularly stable at the moment either:
Just when things were starting to work, modesetting comes along and breaks everything. With great reluctance I have given up on gaming in Fedora, and have gone back to multibooting WinXP to game. When in rome...
Here's to another year or two of waiting before drivers stablize... again.