What version of FreeBSD did you try out? I've not seen a live CD (at least for version 9.0) available on their website.freebsd sucks horribly as a desktop OS, it CAN arguably be better on the server. i've actually used freebsd live cd on a desktop with a kernel bug that would render it unbootable.
FreeBSD works fine as a desktop OS for me (Desktop PC with Athlon II X4, Radeon 4850 (R600c)). It meets all of my requirements:
- solid as a rock
- plays music and videos
- has regularly updated software
- can create and burn video DVDs
- can rip video DVDs
- runs firefox and LibreOffice
- reads PDF documents
- has several email clients
What are your requirements for a desktop OS?