From a quick peek over at Hack a Day and other electronics blogs it seems like everyone and their cat are doing Arduino projects nowadays. I finally caved in and decided to see what all the fuss is about, and ordered an Arduino Duemilanove from sparkfun, which arrived today. I've only had it for a few hours now, and I already love it. Arduino, together with a breadboard and sparkfun's premium M/M jumper wires equals prototyping bliss ;) With help from the sample programs that comes with the Arduino IDE, I managed to put together a quick IR-reflector controlled servo test thingy in just a couple of minutes with no prior experience with the platform. Doing the same with a PIC would have taken me much longer, despite my greater experience with them.
Installing the PC software was fairly straightforward, even though I run 64 bit gentoo on my desktop. I followed the gentoo instructions and just had to replace the bundled Rxtx.so with a link to the one provided by the distribution. The FTDI driver I had compiled earlier, so the rest was plug and play.