I agree with your assessment of linux as that's another reason the little Eee PC (701) doesn't work for me. Linux is just too arcane and I don't want to have to bother with it. (This from someone whose first computer was a CPM machine!)
I'm a writer, which is why the keyboard is so important to me, but it also makes my requirements fairly minimal. If the keyboard on the Eee PC (701) had been usable, then applications such as JDarkroom, Writer's Café, etc., would have made the linux issue less annoying.