| Hrm. The only big reasons I prefer Debian are apt-get and the package policy (high quality packages and consistant naming).
Otherwise, Debian sucks a lot compared to the commercial distros. It’s hard to install, its default configurations (think GNOME setup) are horrid from a user point of view, hardware detection is crap, config/management tools are just a hodge-podge of unintegrated seperate projects, etc.
At home, where it’s just me, I can easily deal with the above problems and enjoy the benefits of Debian. On servers, it’s usually me or another experienced admin, where Debian excels compared to other distros. On workstations/laptops at work, or for friends/family, Debian is the last distro I would recommend. It’s a nightmare for any Linux user but the experienced.
I think one problem of Debian’s maintainer setup is that there is little coordination and effort between maintainers to come up with a cohesive distro. Debian is, and likely will remain, just a collection of software. If, say, the installer people and the hardware package people and the X people and the kernel people worked together, we could end up with a central, integrated hardware detection/installation/configuration center. If the maintainers of all the GNOME related libraries and software worked together, there would probably be much nicer GNOME configurations and consistant setups. There needs to be “large” Debian projects that encompass more than just a single maintainer.