RC4 is now available for download, and it looks really good. I mean really, really good. It has some nice new features, it has lots of small improvements in presentation and icons which add up to a huge overall improvement, and of course it has lots of bug fixes. The final release is due out next week, but for those who are curious or impatient, give RC4 a try.
I have been using OOo 2.4.1 on my Linux systems, because that is what comes bundled with Ubuntu 8.04 and Mandriva 2008, and 3.0 on Vista because I had to install it myself anyway, and it has gotten to the point where I notice the difference right away when I am using the older version. The good news is that OOo 3.0 is included with the Mandriva 2009 Release Candidates, so I assume it will be included in the final release (tomorrow!). The bad news is it might not make it into Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex), but their release isn't until the end of the month, so there is still hope.
If you are still using Microsoft Office, you should really give OpenOffice a look. It can be installed on a system which already has MS Office without creating any problems, you simply tell it on installation not to take over as the default application for MS Office files. If you haven't updated to MS Office 2007 yet, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that OpenOffice 3.0 is able to open MS Office 2007 documents with no problem and without a format converter - unlike Microsoft's own pre-2007 Office versions.
If you are tired of paying Microsoft again and again, every time they come out with a new Office release, OpenOffice is likely to make you very happy.