A couple of years ago back sometime in 2009, I tried GNU/Linux for the first time and I chose Ubuntu 9.04 64 bit GNU/Linux at that time. Since then, I have tried almost all of the major and popular GNU/Linux and BSD UNIX distributions, but I found myself going back to Ubuntu. Today, I stopped distro hopping because I don't like reinstalling my desktop operating system repeatedly. The reason why I stopped distro hopping is due to my opinion that Linux is Linux and the different desktop environments and windows managers are nice to play with, but nothing comes as close to near perfect as Ubuntu Unity. It's mature, stable, and well polished and it just works and it gets out of my way. GNOME, KDE, Pantheon, XFCE, LXDE, etc. are all nice and I can see why they have their supporters, but Ubuntu and Unity together are magical. Ubuntu is the most user friendly distribution that avoids a lot of the pain associated with GNU/Linux. It makes smart decisions and it makes the right compromises that balance the desktop user experience with a strong focus on usability and simplicity. There are fewer hoops to jump through in installing, setting up, configuring, and using Ubuntu as my daily driver. Red Hat Fedora is too bleeding edge. CentOS isn't for me. OpenSuSE is a close competitor, but I don't like the RPM system and adding and managing multiple software repositories can be tricky especially for novices. OpenSuSE Tumbleweed is ideal for power users that are experienced in package management. Elementary OS is pretty, but it is only skin deep. I don't like the irregular release cycles that are somewhat unpredictable and it's a bit too focused on the Apple Macintosh OS X like desktop experience for me. Arch is a pain in the butt. Majaro doesn't make much sense to me either. Mageia failed to boot on my PCs. Linux Mint is pretty good, but the Cinnamon and MATE desktop environment are not mature and stable enough compared to Ubuntu Unity and the Linux kernel is kind of locked into place which leaves bugs and security vulnerabilities along with future PC hardware support to be lacking for me.
Now that I've alienated just about all of the other GNU/Linux users, I'll focus on PC-BSD. I find it to be excellent, but it's too small of a community compared to Ubuntu and not all of my PC hardware components and software applications are compatible. Otherwise, I would use it now.
Distro hopping is nice to do, but I'd rather use my legally purchased copy of VMWare Workstation 64 bit to test competing desktop operating systems. The good thing about VMWare is that it keeps Workstation up to date and relatively free of security bugs and vulnerabilities, but is a closed source and commercial software product that is quite expensive. However, the features are worth it for me. This is now my preferred way of testing alternative desktop operating systems. I don't multi-boot. What I noticed about distro hopping is growing confusion and dissatisfaction with specific gotchas in terms of PC hardware or software compatibility issues. I'd find something not to my liking and I would throw away all of my work and switch back to Ubuntu.
I'd be interested in knowing how many members here stopped distro hopping and why along with which distribution you are using now. Thanks.