> It is a generalized problem, yes - but it's much worse in the Linux software ecosystem than on any other system I've ever used. Windows and Mac software vary, but not by nearly as much.
Nobody *makes* you install lots of diverse based software to use Linux. And in the same cases where you would do so in Windows or MacOS, this are the cases where it happens under linux. All in all, I work everyday with the three OSes: Windows7, Kubuntu Quantal, and Mountain Lion. My office suite is LibreOffice 3.5 in all three, as my browser is Chrome 24. My two IDEs of choice are Eclipse and (by Pascal necessity) Lazarus -- though I keep slipping into Vim73 when I have to do small changes or big, many-files-swooping changes. My media management (photos, music) is done mostly under the linux machines, so I use the platform tools (digikam, amarok) and they are GREAT (I chose the platform for the tools, not the other way around). And for the movies and TV shows I have XBMC. The other tools I use are the KDE tools; kmail, krita, scribus, ... no other "out of place" programs. And if I send a file to print under LibreOffice or Chrome, they happily open the KDE print dialog, so, they don't seem "out of place" either.
And no configuration complexity: when I get a new computer, I install the OS from the CD, and it's up and running, with a simple enough control panel to install new printers, configure monitors etc.