I have just found this article which discusses the fact that Microsoft will spend $9.1 Billion on R&D this year. It makes the point of what Open Source could do with that kind of money.
The one point made in the article and one with which I totally agree is that with that kind of money open source developers could start looking to solve the issues that regularly stump people when using a Linux based system for the first time. As great as a lot of software is some applications do not implement the obvious functionality that a "user" would expect and the usability and documentation leave a lot to be desired.
It's a shame that as a community we can not raise money to drive development. I know we have a number of large companies that drive corporate Linux but perhaps the FOSS community needs it's own R&D budget that projects could request money from to have features added? Sort of Bounties on steroids?