We just got two new toys: a Mac Mini (the basic model), and a printer/scanner (HP Deskjet). The Mac -- both the tiny little machine and the OS that it runs -- looks spectacular, even though the peripherals are all non-Apple (Dell monitor, Logitech keyboard and mouse).
The printer came with a Mac OS driver CD; we inserted, installed, and... it didn't work. The scanner program quit with an "unknown error", and offered to send a bug report to Apple. We suspect that a newer driver is required: the CD says it is for Mac OS X 10.3, 10.4 and 10.5, but the Mini has 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
So I tried plugging the printer into my Linux laptop. No driver downloads, because the HP-supported linux printer drivers were already installed. I then tried scanning an image: the scanning program (xsane) detected the scanner, and it Just Worked.
I expect the updated Mac drivers will work too. If not, it's over to consumer support. But the interesting thing to me is this: unlike many Linux drivers, which are developed by third parties, the HP drivers are from HP -- as "official" as things ever get on Linux. But the way it is done is very different. HP's Mac (and Windows) drivers are binary "blobs" that are designed for a particular OS and its particular driver model; when the OS is updated, the driver can break. Windows Vista was notorious for malfunctioning peripherals, for this reason; apparently Snow Leopard is not immune. Linux drivers are provided (mostly) as source code, and compiled against the kernel source, which is a constantly evolving object (essentially no two Linux distributions use exactly the same Linux kernel, and the kernels they use are not the "official" kernels released by Linus Torvalds). So the user does not get the HP drivers from HP's website or installation media, but bundled with the OS itself -- and it works.
Linux is sometimes criticised for evolving too rapidly, making it extremely difficult for device manufacturers to supply binary "drivers". The linux developers respond that it is better for the companies to work with the kernel community, open-source their drivers, and, if possible, include them in the "mainline kernel". That way, first, users will not need to download drivers or run "installation CDs" to get their hardware to work; second, the drivers will generally stay working. (Here's a position statement from Linux developers.)
Based on my one data point (I don't use Windows and this is my first experience with a Mac), I'd say the Linux developers have a point.