I use FreeBSD on every general purpose machine I have (there are some BT boxes, a few XP etc. around) - it always feels like it's giving me more control than a Linux, you can compile software via ports (if you so wish), or install via packages.
There is another path - one I often use to get my PII-333 up to speed with updates - you can compile the majority of your software on another machine and transfer it over.
Of course, Ubuntu (and thus BT) gives you a fair whack of control especially through the apt-get system, but it can be annoying sometimes when you want to compile in your own program. I usually install my programs to ~/bin/ so that any overwriting by the apt-get system doesn't mess with me too badly.