Re: nvidia driver quality decrease?
If you're looking for a solid desktop experience you have to get off of Linux. That isn't a snarky remark, it's just a fact. Getting stuff working in Linux has always been hackery and always will be hackery, and it'll never be a smooth experience.
So you just have to expect that a lot of stuff is going to be broken and / or just plain not work. And it's always changing. One day something is working, the next day it's not. That's just how the platform is.
You can't expect much out of free.
I'm sure your video card works wonderfully in Windows or would likewise if it was shipped in a Mac.