A bit off-topic but what's even more weird (at least to people coming from the GNU/Linux world) than the Android system is the ecosystem around it.
Hundreds of shift-zips-around-and-embed-software-illegaly "ROMs" out there, with names like Japanese Jellyfish, Cyanogenmod etc. along with required "mods" like Clockworkmod, Amon_Ra's etc.
Applications that have weird names (often based on the author's name), usually of doubtful quality, with no way to check on their license (or if they're ad-ridden or not for that matter) or file bug reports on them.
My experience with Android is brief but it feels like "modding" rather than hacking and it and it certainly feels more like a Windows Mobile phone than a Linux phone