I also sympathize with you.
I programmed in Unix for many years, back in the old days (math and scientific programming, hardly any system stuff), and I'm really quite disappointed about linux's generally crappy design and implementation (linux != just the kernel, though a monolithic kernel is not a good idea with new hardware and standards appearing so frequently) of fundamental things that users have to deal with like locale, mime, desktops, fonts, audio, etc. They're really pretty damned poor.
But it's still better than Windows! Windows is a low standard to beat, but like that one guy said, "Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made."
And like that other guy said, "You get what you pay for." I'm getting a pretty good value for my $0.