I see... The repositories problem is one of the big drawbacks on current Linux development, the truth is with all the mess going on there, it is not different to the Windows way to manage programs. I've always envied Macs for that...
I also agree on the subject of too many apps. I'd rather pick up a specific set of them and enforce development, than have every possible person fork their own version of Notepad. Have you happened to check Sourceforge.net's section on "Text Editors"?
The latter. Linux just doesn't cut it yet as a desktop platform, except for basic needs. Linux is kind of like that. It's alright if you need very little, and good if you know a lot and can do a lot. For the man in the middle, it just doesn't work. Coaxing new software onto it which isn't in the repositories is too much of a chore still, and the layout of the file system makes it pretty difficult to find anything by hand. Neither GNOME or KDE are polished enough for me yet either, and the multitude of GUI kits makes your windows look very patch worked. I understand that they've gone to efforts to sort out driver and X headaches recently, but it's still absoloutely awful if something goes wrong.
It's just not... streamlined enough yet. The open source community needs to focus it's effort on fewer, better projects. Right now, there's too many bits and pieces, and not enough killer apps.
Oh... I'm sorry to hear that. I hope the fact you don't use Linux anymore is because of some job requirement to use Windows only and not because of a disenchantment or an incompatibility you had with the system at home.