I use Solaris (9 and 10) and RedHat (3 and 4) at work.
I use Ubuntu at home and love it. It has a great package manager and works "right out of the box".
I recommend Ubuntu if you want to use the laptop to get other things done. Other Linux flavors are easier to tweak/customize.
I don't have any experience with OSX, so I can't compare it with Ubuntu.
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