Not trying to hijack this thread, but it got me wondering...
Since Solaris is now free, why aren't people using it in-place of various linux distros?
Is *nix generally thought of as being *better* than Solaris 10?
No, it's not better, just more popular. BSD has also been available for a very long time, and is arguably a better *nix (BTW, that term means "Unix variant" not "Linux variant"), but Linux is still more popular.
FreeBSD is really good for servers but I can't see it becoming a mainstream desktop OS unless they get better drivers and a much much better installation system.
Can you explain why *BSD is better? Which one and why?
All *nix variants are "really good for servers but I can't see it becoming a mainstream desktop OS unless they get better drivers and a much much better installation system". Linux is no different here. Some Linux distros are doing a better job then other *nix variants, but anyone who really thinks they are ready for the mainstream desktop is deluded.
BSD is only "arguably" better. In theory, it's more secure and has a better kernel (though in the past couple of years Linux has made great strides in both areas).