First of all, I'll admit that I've waxed gloom-and-doom when talking about openSUSE lately. I'm now saying not only that my worries turned out completely wrong, but openSUSE 11.4 is probably the most amazing OS I've run so far.
I'm not claiming this assertion lightly, either. For the first time in the history of any OS I've ever installed hardware was detected and installed correctly the first time right away. 3D acceleration worked out of the box. My Intel/Broadcomm chipsets functioned immediately without me even having to edit a config file. I dual-boot with ease. All in all, an effortless installation.
Performance increases were immediately evident as well. Apps loaded swiftly, content panes refreshed immediately and window compositing worked fantastically. And in this sprint of performance I found that I didn't need a single drop of proprietary software. The open nouveau driver for NVIDIA GPUs now has sufficient 3D support to provide desktop effects such as transparency, and Broadcomm wireless chipsets are now supported within the latest kernel. No joke! Package management is many, MANY times faster now due to more simple and more concurrent HTTP operations. Updates and package installation is in a whole new league now, and wins hands-down over any other distro (including Windows).
But wait! There's more! openSUSE 11.4 also is the first distro with Firefox 4.0 and LibreOffice, giving me the freshest builds of two suites I use frequently. Evolution has been updated so that IMAP operations are non-blocking (oh thank the heavens) which makes it appear much faster as well.
Reading down the list of openSUSE 11.4 product highlights is like looking at my own personal want list for a Linux desktop. If the coming work week goes as smoothly as the past couple of days have, this will be the distro to beat all distros. I even find myself wanting to use openSUSE 11.4 over Windows 7 for random tasks at home, simply because the user interface is much more elegant and flexible.
I owe openSUSE 11.4 so much that I've finally given up on typing the distro as "OpenSuSE" in homage to the original distribution. SuSE has now grown up and is now truly a fantastic product of the open distro's team - and is now truly openSUSE in its own right.