I think this falls to Hanlon's Razor (s/stupidity/extrapolated ignorance/). Windows before 7 *did* have horrible boot performance (ISTR Vista being particularly bad on my school laptop, but maybe that's memories of it souring over time). Once you're under 5–10 seconds, it's really in the "who cares?" realm. Hell, it takes 3 seconds for the cable box my family has to get the picture on the screen after switching channels at home and no one complains. Video game console starting animations can take longer. Five seconds from switch to useful would probably be generally accepted. Windows 7 is there on my work machines (modulo the limbo where services and such are starting up after I log in and whether updates need to be finished installing). CentOS 5 is not by any means. Fedora Rawhide is getting there with systemd (17 seconds from when journald starts logging to my user being logged in at a TTY with manual entry). The best I had seen on my machines before was a ~35 second internet to internet reboot (manual login and ifup wlan0) on an eee900 netbook (either Fedora 13 or 14?).