Ubuntu is going downhill. They're making dumb decisions to fragment developer camps rather than contribute, it won't last. Unity is a major mistake, and on top of it, you've got its lack of configuration. I've noticed more and more repository mistakes... it's just not looking good for them.
While I still disagree, I think that you misunderstand my comment on Linux programs. I'm talking about utilities and features that power users have. Git and Mercurial integration are still lacking for power users in Windows, you have to install a UNIX base just to make use of them well (Git Bash or cygwin). Take a look at JACK or Google App engine, Hg-git, hgsubversion, mongodb. They're all packaged by Distro maintainers and effectively way more a part of the OS than any Windows or OSX downloadable alternative. I dare you to find me anything with the functionality of JACK in Windows or OSX then compare how integrated with the OS it is and how much it cost you.
Windows not being a POSIX-compliant OS takes a huge toll on its capabilities. Almost anything that I can imagine in software, there's a utility in Linux, and with most distributions, they're free, they work, and they're at my fingertips with a repository-based updater. Windows has fragmented updater, download locations and reliability. This is one of the major reasons why Linux programs "work". I'm not talking about whether the GUI is easy to understand or is even available to you -- I'm talking about the ability to take your existing OS and do a task with it without having to go to an untrusted source and download their utility and potentially pay them. I can name a dozen tasks that I can't do in OSX and Windows in under a minute. I'd be hard pressed to honestly say the same about Linux.
Now, with this "Lack of Polish" I somewhat agree, although from a Windows standpoint I find it funny because 3rd party Windows apps are coded by a bunch of code-monkeys that make laughable UI decisions. With Windows you do have a widget set that is across all applications, but it's not like that's even enforced. Look at every mouse driver you've ever gotten or steam for example. That lacks polish. Fedora + Gnome 3 has the most polish I've ever experienced in Linux, with almost all of my necessary applications following the Gnome standard. KDE is no POS either -- many of their apps interact very well. I haven't had enough hands on time with OSX but its hardly fair to compare the "polish" of an OS that seems to cost almost $500 (laugh at yourself now if you honestly think anyone could sell you the same hardware at $1900 and get away with it). Each Linux distro has its own strengths and weaknesses, and while I can't currently say one has more overall polish than OSX, I can say that there is a large set of them that are more capable and more polished in their own way, Gentoo being one of them. (segue)
As far as Gentoo goes, it's only really been time consuming. I have it paused in my virtualbox and I've slowly been installing it in pockets of about 10 minutes at a time
. I like their rolling release model, and I see this as being one of the biggest strengths that all Linux distros could potentially have over Windows/OSX. I'd like to figure out how they could make use of it though.