It's not a big mystery why Linux didn't take off on netbooks. It didn't take off because Microsoft threatened the OEMs with loss of access to Micrsoft's products if they continued to offer alternatives. And the OEMs caved, because no matter how many non-MS machines they sold, they were not in a position to go cold turkey and drop all their sales of Windows. It had little to do with the quality or lack thereof of Linux, and all to do with Microsoft's market power.
I should clarify though -- the "three-click-problem" likely did play a role in the degree of sales the OEMs got, and how people liked their laptops when they got them. But without Microsoft's threats, the OEMs would have been quite willing to sell both Linux and Windows netbooks (with the Linux ones going for a significantly cheaper price, due to the lack of license fees to Microsoft). The disappearance of the Linux netbooks is due to threats, not quality issues.