I've noticed text is more soft and easier to read in Gnome vs. Windows.
I think that is probably more due to choice of fonts and which font smoothing effects are turned on, rather than anything inherent to the OS.
Also, and this may just be all in my head, but I've noticed when listening to mp3's in Linux, the sound is smoother and easier to listen to, it almost sounds more "analog".
Is it running on the same audio hardware? If so, it is probably all in your head; if not, it probably comes down to quality differenecs in the DACs. Also note that you can't really compare Linux running native vs. Windows running in a VM (if that's what you're doing), since the VM's virtualized soundcard may be doing resampling or playing some other games with the signal.
The dekstop effects are definitely more fun than Vista's "aero" interface.
The Compiz effects control panel is what happens when you have a bunch of hackers on the Internet with too much time on their hands and a new toy to play with!
I sound like I'm "raving" all about Linux, and I am. I guess I'm just so excited to finally see a real alternative to Windows that doesn't involve shelling out the money to purchase a Mac.
Yes, I am quite excited about this as well. I use Ubuntu as my primary OS both at home and work now.
One thing Linux could improve on is driver support, and the open source community is having a hard time keeping up on that. I am glad that ATI does a good job of providing drivers for their GPU's.
With video drivers, the community's hands were tied because the manufacturers would not release detailed hardware specs for their latest products. ATI/AMD is now working closely with the Open Source community to remedy this, and so we should see full-featured Open Source drivers for ATI cards soon. And yes, as an interim solution, their proprietary drivers for Linux have improved a lot and seem to be quite reasonable now.
nVidia's drivers will probably remain proprietary for the forseeable future.
For non-video hardware, I would say that driver support on Ubuntu is in pretty good shape, probably even better than Windows. The only non-video device in recent memory that I've had trouble installing on Ubuntu was a 3G wireless modem; pretty much everything else has just worked when plugged in without even needing to manually download drivers.