My work laptop is a Dell D820. When I got it, I installed x86_64 Gentoo on it. I kept it up to date every week, switched to newer profiles as I came upon them, and was fairly happy.
After some annoying issues with a cross-build system for work, and finding it worked under a Ubuntu VM, I switched to 64-bit Ubuntu 10.10. I prefer to have my builds as fast as possible, and this was grating on me.
I figured any general slowdown was worth it. Not only would the lack of VM delay speed up me, but I wouldn’t be constantly needing to recompile anymore. I get paid to write code, not to administer a system after all.
So I took the plunge and I’m stunned at how fast it is. It boots significantly faster (and I had taken pains to enable only a minimum of boot-time scripts and have parallel startup on), everything moves more quickly, and longstanding mild annoyances are gone.
All this time I figured switching would be slower. Why didn’t I do this sooner?