I've been running production systems on Unixen for a quarter century, including Linux for more than a decade. Late 2.4 was definately the high-point.
2.6 may run better than 2.4 on 1024-way clusters but who cares? For every day use 2.6 requires 2 to 4 times the RAM to accomplish the same task as 2.4. A laptop that used to handle a KDE desktop now takes more than half an hour just to boot a shell because of all the bureaucracy which replaced the efficient reliable mknod in /dev.
2.6 kernel quality is not awful, but it's nothing to write home about either. And then we have the ever changing kernel ABI and the kernel crew's antipathy to MadWifi which makes Linux WiFi more trouble than it's worth. It's easier to carry around a LinkSys gateway than hunt down new MadWifi RPM's for PCMCIA cards every time someone on the kernel team sneezes.
Many kernel hackers are now being paid professional salaries. Why then has product discipline dropped to amateur levels?
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