I have moved my development environment from Kubuntu to Arch Linux. I used Kubuntu for 2-3 years, and have tried Fedora and OpenSuse before that. However, at this point of time, as I have learned more, the Arch Way seems to be more in line with what I need.
I started feeling a while back that I need to know more in Linux to do more with it. I know, I know, this sounds geeky and not very user-friendly, but believe me this stage is not avoidable. As you start getting better at a tool, you start looking for a different balance of abstraction and transparency.
Let me put it in another way. There are those who use tools, there are those who use tools and there are those who use tools. I am in the third group with respect to Linux right now. The key principle behind Arch Linux which will help be get better is
In Arch, ‘simple’ doesn’t always mean what it does in other distros. It’s our philosophy that the learning is more important than getting something easily done.
The move also did something I did not expect, it tested my understanding of underlying concepts of Linux. Tools are not very important, what is important is your knowledge about them and your core skills.
I am currently well settled with Arch Linux on my Dell Inspiron 700m. I have tested most of the things, except the SVideo port and the function keys. KDE is up and running with necessary applications, including the GTK ones with smooth fonts.
I still recommend (K)Ubuntu when a newbie asks me about Linux, I think it is ideal, not only because of the ease of working but also because of ease of availability. I am enjoying the pure KDE experience, and the Arch’s i686 optimization is making a difference. However, what I am enjoying the most is learning the hidden ways of working with KDE and Linux.