Read this great article on The Guardian UK website: My new Ubuntu-flavored ThinkPad is computing heaven.
One thing the writer pointed out was how Ubuntu mostly worked well, and even when it didn't, it "failed gracefully."
That means that on those occasions where I've had a bad disk or some other problem, I could simply download a new copy of the OS, stick it on a USB drive and restart from the drive to troubleshoot and repair the OS. I don't have to take a rescue disk on the road with me, don't have to try to run out to the Apple store at 8:55PM to try to buy another copy of the OS before the shop closes. Anywhere I've got a working computer and an internet connection, I've got everything I need to fail gracefully.
That was a benefit I hadn't thought of, that an operating system can be more forgiving. What makes the article extra special was that the writer was a strict Apple user for years. Nice to see someone like that convert to Linux.