I'm sure most of you already know this, but it's funny that no one mentioned that it used to be known as SunOS. When they had the name changed, a lot of people complained about Solaris not being as reliable as SunOS. They were also accused of marketing hype, and with good reason, because soon after, they jumped from Solaris 2.7 to Solaris 7. The Jargon File entry under "Slowlaris" explains some of this well.

I've heard that Linux SPARC blows Solaris away in terms of speed, but I have absolutely nothing to back that up.