I don't want to start a holy war, I just want to know which distro will be best for me specifically.
I'm currently running Fedora-13, which is in EOL. So I did a little more research — probably the research I should have done before picking this OS — and found that Fedora requires frequent upgrades. Well, this might not be a problem for me but I'd much prefer not having to frequently back up my system and do reinstalls. (As I understand it, the upgrade process isn't great, and reinstalls are recommended for stability.)
However, I see that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is not freely available. It seems I would have to spend at least $50 for the OS. So... I'm wondering if it's worth $50 to not have to upgrade very often. I've used Ubuntu in the past, and I found that I had a lot of trouble getting some of my hardware to run.
I'm going to be running this on the laptop I'm using to develop a website in Scala/Lift. I'm probably not going to host the website from the laptop.