The world of Linux support has changed considerably since the days of Slackware and other early Linux distributions. In many ways, as the subscription-based models of Red Hat and Novell have proven, it's been for the better. Support has become more consistent and effective with these commercial models.
But easily accessible, affordable Linux support tailored to users' specific technology environments remains elusive. And those users who have found successful alternatives still warn that it's important to ensure a maximum return on your support investment. It pays -- literally -- to be aware of the subtle nuances and obstacles that remain, users say.