Good news for Debian fans: Sarge is now Stable!
Debian has a number of releases. The stable release is locked down and only security updates make it through, and I believe it is argued that, while usually out-of-date, it is the most stable distro release out there. Testing is where development can happen, but things are still rather well tested. Still, things can break, but it isn’t often. Unstable is where all new development occurs, and it has been called a developer’s playground. Expect things to break often there.
Debian gives their releases code names. Traditionally, these names derive from Toy Story. Currently, “Sarge” is the new Stable release, and “Etch” is now the new name for the Testing release. “Sid” is always the name of Unstable. It’s apropos since Sid was the name of the neighbor who would break all the toys.
Debian has always had a reputation of being safe yet useless since Stable had such old versions of packages. Now, even Stable/Sarge has OpenOffice.org, KDE 3, Firefox, Thunderbird, and many more applications.
While I’ll still make use of Testing/Etch, even people new to Gnu/Linux will have an incredibly stable, solid, and modern distro.