Got my workstation replaced with a newer HP Compaq dc5100 SFF(PM215AV) which sports a faster Intel P4 3.20Ghz CPU with HyperThreading, i915 graphics chipset and SATA disks. Completely rebuilt world and all of my frequently used ports to link against FreeBSD 6 versions of libraries instead of the 5.x compat libs. Zippy stuff!
Disk IO is really good. I can completely saturate the network and disk without breathing a sweat with NFS. No side effects like sluggish desktop, skipped music during the whole period.
Experienced all round application crash cause they were linked to multiple versions of the same library. Be sure to completely rebuild ports so that it links to newer versions of /usr/lib and /usr/local/lib. If your application crashed, be sure to rebuild it and the dependant ports before blaming the OS. But once recompiled, they work as usual.
I dont see a downside to FreeBSD6 right now but then its only been 3 days since I rebuilt with the release version. Previously, I was able to panic the box when writing CDs with a USB writer. I figured out that cdrecord was linked to the wrong version of libcam, a rebuild fixed it. Need to try it again now.
I am giving a presentation and workshop on FreeBSD at http://foss.in/. drop by to catch up on everything BSD.
The new clearlooks theme is elegant, goes well with GTK apps running under e17 CVS
Applications now lookup howl and other zerconf libraries, just noticed it in Rhythmbox. Need to figure out announcements now.
As a desktop environment, no great shakes. I still prefer e.