hbr Full disclosure: I have a few System76 machines, my Thelio R2 being my daily Solus Budgie Desktop driver.
I love Sys76. Support second to none. I think Pop began as a labor of love and, to a large extent, remains something of a 'project' as evidenced by their growing pains w/ Gnome, development of Cosmic and now heading down the path of Rust a la Soler Redox. It is a pretty smooth DE. To say it is a company distro is valid but I think stretching it a little. Some of the existing communities are much bigger (e.g. OpenSuse). Sys76 remains a relatively small enterprise.
I can't think of any distro I've ever used from Slack to #! to Debian to Suse to Arch to you name it with the exception of Gentoo (which I've never used) that hasn't borked from time to time. Actually, scratch that, in my 13 months with Solus, not one distro related bork. Plenty of user imposed pain...but I digress.
I also agree with plenty of others that rule #1 of jumping into Linux is lean on the community, the docs, etc. I think Linus sensationalized the entire ordeal. It is silly. He needs views. I wish Anthony had moderated his reaction a little. Long view - a blip and Pop will continue to gain users because in its entirety, it is a very successful distro. I personally wish it wasn't riding Ubuntu, in turn riding Debian, but hey...I'm just a happy user and am happy to have devs that care - even when I do not agree with the direction....the beauty of linux: freedom and choice.