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When it comes to software, I much prefer free software, because I have very seldom seen a program that has worked well enough for my needs, and having sources available can be a life-saver.
What commercialism has brought into Linux has been the incentive to make a good distribution that is easy to use and that has all the packaging issues worked out.
There are lots of Linux users who don't care how the kernel works, but only want to use it. That is a tribute to how good Linux is.
The thing with Linux is that the developers themselves are actually customers too: that has always been an important part of Linux.
The memory management on the PowerPC can be used to frighten small children.
The Linux philosophy is 'Laugh in the face of danger'. Oops. Wrong One. 'Do it yourself'. Yes, that's it.
The fame and reputation part came later, and never was much of a motivator, although it did enable me to work without feeling guilty about neglecting my studies.
The cyberspace earnings I get from Linux come in the format of having a Network of people that know me and trust me, and that I can depend on in return.
That's what makes Linux so good: you put in something, and that effort multiplies. It's a positive feedback cycle.
Shareware tends to combine the worst of commercial software with the worst of free software.
See, you not only have to be a good coder to create a system like Linux, you have to be a sneaky bastard too.
Programmers are in the enviable position of not only getting to do what they want to, but because the end result is so important they get paid to do it. There are other professions like that, but not that many.
People enjoy the interaction on the Internet, and the feeling of belonging to a group that does something interesting: that's how some software projects are born.
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