Please share what brought you to Linux based systems and what keep you using them for you personal and/or professional uses.
Well, it all started for me with a catastrophic system failure after a "patch Tuesday" back in '06. It was the 4th time in three years that I had to wipe/reinstall XP because of patch related system corruptions. Hey... MS happens. What can I say?
That aggravation drove me from tinkering with Linux to actually learning to use it as a primary operating system. I started out with Ubuntu 6.06 and quickly moved to other more "manly" distros. Ubuntu was just a bit too prettified for me. I wanted something you had to bleed a bit to learn.
After much trial and experimentation, I ended up with Slackware as my primary operating system and Debian as my back-up operating system. Along the way, I've developed a handful of favorites like Arch, Ark, CentOS, Zenwalk, Vector, Foresight, etc.
Slackware is still home for me, though.
I wanted an UNIX operating system for myself, I've always loved mainframes but I didn't had access to any of them back in the '90s and there were no such choice for a low specs x86 machine like mine.
I didn't had access to big irons and my cheap 386sx machine didn't had a coprocessor and a MMU so BSD wasn't available for me in these days (sigh). I've started with Linux because it was "free" and I've decided to test it carefully. now in 2011 I'm still here writing in a linux site, guess what happened in between :-) ?
Simple, It was for the stability and the fact it was free. And the freedom and choices were just a bonus. I had experienced a total crash with xp and after switching to Windows 7 because it was supposedly more stable but that was a total lie. I had 2 pretty bad crashes and just about everything I used would crash a couple times a month. So that sealed the deal.
Also I'm glad there's an off-topic section now.
4. I was (and am) a Windows user, and found early on that having alternative computing solutions is a great advantage.
3. It was (and is) Free and for a destitute tinkerer, that makes an enormous difference.
2. I needed (okay, wanted) a way to turn scrap PCs into functional contributors to the house-hold (at the time, that meant routers and MP3 servers).
1. I wanted to learn more about computers in general and redirect my professional career that way (this was in the late 90s) and my house-mate (who was currently running his own start-up ISP) said 'Learn Linux. Here's 12 floppies'. Best advice I ever got.