CentOS Just Works
I think the subject says it all. I've been running CentOS for a little over a year now and everything just seems to work with minimal effort. Granted my environment isn't very complex, but I bet it's up to par with the majority of LAMP users.
I've been going on a few job interviews lately where some of the focus has been on linux administration. I keep getting asked questions like, "Have you ever had to manually add a module to apache?", "How do you install apache with php and perl support?", "How do you install MySQL, and use it in php-mysql web apps?", "How do you keep your linux servers up to date with security patches?"...
My answer to all of them was, um I use CentOS...
During installation I select the apache, php, and mysql modules. After installation I either go into the services gui tool or I just run chkconfig mysqld on. After that I setup my virtual hosts in httpd.conf, set the root password in mysql, restart both services and viola! I have a working LAMP server. I quick update of the smb.conf file and the security settings (which both have gui tools), and now I can see my CentOS server on my LAN. Share my documentroot and now I have a very easy way of updating the server's web site(s). If that isn't your style than you could simply skip the samba config and setup VSFTP instead.
So how do I manage to keep up with all of the security patches?
I know in an enterprise environment it's not a good idea to just install every update that comes your way. But in a SOHO - medium sized environment, just following the CentOS updates seems to work pretty darn well. The only issue I've ever run into via up2date or yum update was with squirrelmail. During one of the updates I lost my custom web mail logo because it got replaced with the default squirrel mail logo. Yea that really set me back... Put the company's logo back in and bam, everything is back on track.
I just don't see where the headaches come from when administering a linux SOHO server. Yeah, remote desktop is great and it does make supporting a windows server remotely a piece of cake. If ssh isn't your thing then just install a secure vnc solution.
Bottom line, CentOS rocks my socks! I think it is the perfect distro for a SOHO *nix server.