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Distribution: tried a lot of 'em, now using kubuntu
What's the reason? Everyone I know has at least a 101-key keyboard, so it can't be 'cause you need the arrow keys (or Home-End-PgUp-PgDn)...
It's STUPID to have that whole section of your keyboard just performing the same functions of other keys by default (especially when a LOT of people are used to working with the numerals in the arrangement of a 10-key keypad).
it's a safety feature. So you don't accidently press that side of the keyboard and mess us what ever you are typing. Or if you are peacefully tryping, and some jerk comes by and presses all the buttons on the key pad just to annoy you, guess what, thanks to that cool feature of numlock being off by default, he didn't achieve his purpose,
think about it, it's actually pretty cool.