@gameboy: Thanks. I'll consider ATI then since they're basically in a dead heat with NVidia right now on performance. Out of curiosity, no one ever developed an open driver for nVidia? Is that because nVidia never cooperated with the community on this?
Yup. As of a year or so ago, ATI/AMD has been releasing detailed hardware specs to the community. nVidia's hardware specs are still closed.
@just brew it: It's true that Crunchbang is good on low spec systems and this obviously isn't going to be a low spec box. My reasons for using Crunchbang ahead of Ubuntu or Mint (or SuSE, Fedora, whatever) is just personal preference. I prefer openbox to gnome and I also like how crunchbang exposes me to a little bit more of the nitty gritty elements of the OS than ubuntu does. It forces me to learn a little.
I'm finding that there's still plenty to learn, even with Ubuntu. But I suppose I also agree with you at some level -- I find myself using the apt and dpkg command line tools instead of synaptic, and I disable Gnome's network management applet and directly edit the /etc/network/interfaces file (just to give a couple of examples). I guess I should take a look at openbox sometime.
The way it'll probably break down is that the windows end will be almost purely for gaming. I tend to do pretty much everything else in linux.
Sounds like the direction I've been heading for the past year or so. At home, my Windows box is used only for gaming and video editing (which represent only a small percentage of my usage); everything else is on Linux.
At work it is more evenly split since our corporate IT environment is still Windows-centric (MS Exchange, MS Office, Visio, etc.); but even so, I probably do about 50% of my work on Linux. And a significant chunk of the Windows stuff is handled with a Terminal Services session (from a Linux based client) rather than a native Windows desktop.