|Welcome to the Monastery|
Whew! Remind me not to get in the way of tirwhan rolling out of bed in the morning... <G>
Obviously, this was One User's Experience(TM), tirwhan, and did I or did I not make it clear that I love FreeBSD? Also obviously, any geek worth his salt knows that a Celeron is a slug, but that makes my point. Tuning your OS so that it appears to be running rings around a dual core machine is a real rush. And, I believe I stated, sorry if I didn't, that I was comparing it to WinXP on said dual core.
My point was that FreeBSD is tunable as well as fast out of the box. Its networking stack is still the envy of all *NIXen, and the VM algorithms implemented and improved since 5 are reputed to be the best. I compared three basic userland tasks (very subjectively): web browsing, USB-key-to-disk reading, and Blender3D. Would you agree that those three activities exercise a lot of a desktop system? In all cases, FreeBSD rocked. This is with a streamlined kernel but not yet any tunables tweaked.
It's Gnome that automounts USB keys, not Linux. Might I remind you that Linux doesn't do a whole heck of a lot by itself? That's not meant as a slur on Linux, just a reminder that Linux is only a kernel. The FreeBSD team does a lot of the work of the distro-creators like RH, Fedora Core Team, and Ubuntu's creators. I have my l/t set up with one-button mount and unmount of my key, and I prefer it that way. If I wanted auto-mounting, I could easily add that feature, because, yes, I do know a little bit of programming. I could also load Gnome and have my little key automagically appear as well.
I do not know why I couldn't su on Ubuntu. It wouldn't let me log in as root, su, or sudo the way it was set up, and I doubt I mistyped my password all 40 or so different ways I tried.
It's not my place to tell you not to love Ubuntu. Go right ahead. I do like Linux a lot more than I used to, and I'm sure that if I had the time to learn it to the degree that I know BSD UN!X, I could tweak it just as much. Certainly Linux has matured a whole bunch, and its end-user install experience (as implemented in Fedora and other desktop-oriented distros) is much superior to FreeBSD... for desktop users who want to stay casually acquainted with their OSen. As I said, for such users, the subject of the OP's quest, Fedora is a better choice, even in my own biased opinion. Certainly there are times when I want to act like a casual user and have things 'just work' myself, too. :D
"There's more than one level to any answer."