"Linux's learning curve starts a little higher - you really have
to be able to install your own operating system and brave enough to
try (even though I think it was Jono Bacon who once said, "you can
stick an Ubuntu CD upside down in a 5&1/4 inch disk drive and
it will install").
"However, Linux gives you a much smoother transition from novice
to native, with very helpful people to guide you on the way. You
don't even notice how much you have learned about software (without
books, and without some ridged corporate dictated curriculum) until
someone you are talking to (not from the Linux world - usually a
Windows IT guy) says, "You mean you modified and compiled your own
software? You know how to program C - I could never (read: don't
want to) learn how to do that...I'll just stick to Windows."