I have long thought that the poor office suites available in Linux have prevented many people from switching to Linux. I first installed Linux in 1999, but I didn't switch to Linux as my full time operating system until 2006 because I couldn't give up WordPerfect. Although I have used OpenOffice/LibreOffice almost exclusively since 2006, I still think that WordPerfect is better than LO Writer, Excel is better than LO Calc and PowerPoint is better than LO Impress. If I didn't firmly believe in the ideology of free software, I would use a proprietary office suite.
For me, the development of LibreOffice is the *one* thing in the world of software that substantially improves my life. New features in the FireFox, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Apache, GIMP, etc., don't have much impact on me, because those pieces of software already do everything that I need. The only other software development that truly impacts my life are the drivers in the Linux kernel that support new hardware.
For that reason I'm really grateful to all the people who are donating their time to improve LibreOffice. I'm really hoping that all the code refactoring and the growth of a community around LibreOffice will make it easier for LibreOffice to eventually catch up to the proprietary suites.
The new regular expression search engine and the better quality export of charts in Calc are new features that I will use in LibreOffice 4.0, but I find it so frustrating that there aren't more new features. The changes being made to the code (such as the use of Glade to design more flexible dialog boxes and PO files to handle translations) look very promising. I keep hoping that these types of behind-the-scenes changes will make it easier to develop LibreOffice in the future, so it can eventually equal and surpass the proprietary suites. I'm hoping that all those behind-the-scenes changes will make it possible to eventually use LibreOffice in web pages and mobile phones.
So I keep hoping. I have been disappointed and frustrated for so long with OpenOffice/LibreOffice, but I keep hoping.