Thanks for sharing your Linux experience... It's a pity things didn't work too well for you but I guess listening to what disappointed people have to say instead of the "Linux is perfect" zealots is what will make the OS a better place for end users some day.
I have to admit that I had similar experiences with Linux in the past but Mint is the first distro in which everything works as expected in my case.
On a side note: I found a topic titled "What can Windows do that Linux can't?" on the Ubuntu forums. I think that it is a classical sign of how some people don't understand the situation on the OS market. The question should be "What can Linux do that Windows can't?". Windows doesn't have to prove anything - it sits there with its colossal market share and it's Linux' task to draw users away from it, not the other way round. I found very few things that Linux can do that Windows can't (after installing some additional software, of course) from an average user's perspective so the main arguments that remain are that the system is free, stable and more secure.
Free - well - "time is money" isn't just a stupid proverb. If you are a freelancer like me you will know EXACTLY how much money an hour of your work is worth and since most people are brought up in a Windows-dominated environment adapting to Linux WILL take many, many hours. I can say for myself that I spent so much time on exploring Linux initially that in a sense I spent more money on it than I would have spent on all the Windows OSes, Office Suites and commercial software I would ever buy. Was it worth it? For me yes, because I'm a curious person always seeking new knowledge, but I still don't think that it's a step many users are willing to make, especially since it doesn't give them any immediate advantages. Of course brilliant user-friendly distros like Mint, PCLinuxOS, Dreamlinux, maybe Sabayon and of course the forefather of them all, Ubuntu, improve the situation but Linux still "isn't there".
Stable - yep, the system itself doesn't crash and I have yet to see a kernel panic although I've been using Linux for certain tasks for many years now. However, all the additional stuff, that is some OSS applications, libraries etc. WILL crash - some of them all the time. Many of them will be annoyingly buggy... Average users don't distinguish the core part of the system and the additional applications so in their eyes the system ISN'T stable. In fact it may seem much less stable than Windows...
Secure - I guess it is. Of course there aren't so many malware applications targeted specifically at Linux and security holes are fixed quite quickly BUT since every Linux guru (even the evil variety =) knows the system inside out there's a whole new category of danger... Any misconfigured Linux computer (and desktops set-up by newbies are that by default) with loads of crap installed on top of it (with the additional stuff very often having its own security problems which aren't fixed that often) will be quite easy to get into by an expert. I remember when several years ago I set up Slackware on an old PC at school and it took our local Linux guru a whole 5 minutes to take over the root account on it - don't ask me how he did it. 0_o
Well - these are just my two cents and I'm writing all of this sitting in front of my (now) beloved Linux Mint. ^^
War does not determine who is right - only who is left. - Bertrand Russell