This is an excellent article! I make no claims to Unix-Guru-Hood and though I have been a sysop/lanmgr/ISSO working first with HP's RTE and since 1989 with Unix and similar systems (HP-UX,QNX2,4,and 6, Ultrix, Tru64, BSD). These days I am best considered a user more than a sysop or lan manager, sticking pretty much to Linux on my home machines.
In 1993 I was running QNX2 when I downloaded Linux kernel 0.93. Both were a joy when compared to the DOS/Windows of the day and through Yggdrasil, early Red Hat and other versions I was very happy. I began to get upset when I got to Ubuntu 10.04 and since then the world has slowed down. Now I find myself running fast machines slowly, and with bugs appearing and disappearing at a whim. Bloatware describes the situation perfectly, as very strange egomaniac developers attempt to outdo each other with their equivalent of wheel spinners, tail-fins and multi-kilowatt sound systems all weighing down encumbering what had been, and still should be the software equivalent of an Alfa Romeo Giulietta in a world of obsolete three ton land yachts powered by cast iron truck engines. (aka Windows)
I for one, while admitting that I am far from a mover or a shaker in this business, will keep my own systems clean, spare and simple. That is why I am running XFCE instead of GNOME or KDE and why I am looking even to eliminate XFCE. There was a line that I read some time ago about the fact that software is getting slower more rapidly than systems are getting faster. My suggestion to developers is that they look at the basic principles of Unix, and then that they learn to actually use assembly language and plain old "C", and that they optimise every bit of code. I know it's slow and it's hard work. But from my point of view the alternative to writing, debugging and optimising tight code is to be considerer the geek equivalent of Charlie the Tuna.
Sorry for the rant, but I am looking more and more at DSL and Puppy Linux as just about the only people who get the idea anymore. When a modern 64 bit system which can run faster than a twenty year old Cray starts to bog down because of its operating system and its windowing software, something is terribly wrong.