I started using Linux around 1998 when I purchased a RH 5.2 distro. I must disclose that I do not run a pure Linux environment. Before I retired my employer and consulting clients all used MS Windows so I have had a mixed environment. I am current running two linux boxes. I have had as many as four linux boxes but two suffered massive hardware failures.
#1 runs RH 8.0 acquired with a SAMS manual. I use it primary as a file server with two 20GB and one 80GB hard drives. Because of ROM and MoBo compatibilty issues I have kept it at RH 8.0.
#2 runs RH Fedora 4 and is my primary system. It is my LAN's DNS and printer server. Since installing Firefox and Thunderbird is has been my preferred Internet access systems. I spend several hours each day researching political on technical topics with few if any serious problems. The multiple desktops is a definite advantage over the MS's multiple windows.
In addition my LAN includes a 4-Port KVM switch and a NETWORK everywhere 4-Port Cable/DSL router. My ISP connection is a highspeed microwave link that consistantly above 1,000 kbps