I have used linux mce for over a year and i am now using Vista MCE
I Want to post my personal comparision to help Linux MCE improve, it can only be benefitial for its development.
Linux MCE has the drivers onboard and Vista MCE is a question of installing the mobo drivers
Linux MCE is a bit picky on its hardware, while Vista MCE does have the advantage of a wider range of compatibilaty
On both i installed them on a TFT and when finished i hooked them up on my full hd TV
On linux MCE i needed to change resolution and work with a TFT next to my tv for setting up.
Also Dolby 5.1 was not working.
In Vista MCE i booted the same pc on my pc and he immedialtely took the good resolution (1920 * 1080)
Also the S3 sleep function works in Vista MCE
In linux MCE you have a build in ripper and DVD librabry system, on Vista MCE not.
I had to install anydvd and mymovies 2 for Vista MCE.
On linux MCE i can not play Blu ray DVD, on Vista MCE i can! it uses Powerdvd to play the blu ray.
The Quality of sound and pictures are very good in Vista MCE, on Linux MCE i get the tearing of video..
In Vista MCE he can immediately recognise my pictures on my CF card from my camera and asks me if i want to import them.
On Vista MCE i see allot of system power being used, on Linux mce he works fine with less power.
On Vista MCE i can goto movie channels, games, and install a new satelite card.
On linux MCE not and i have to be very carefull installing a satelite card that works without hacking.
On Vista MCE i can do home automation if i would like and on linux mce its build in.
Thats my experience, and i must admit that Vista MCE just works better for my usage (video, music, pictures, satelite, PVR)
You might now be able to give me 10 workarounds, but i should not have to workaround and fiddle for the basic things that a mediacenter should be able to do..
I hope there comes a day when i can say, i am using Linux MCE again!