Considering how much time I wasted on Debian before, I'm not likely going back to that distro ever again. At one point I decided to switch to Ubuntu Server and in my experience, it's a lot easier to get work done on that distro. Getting Eumetcast to run, as far as I can recall, takes for me about an hour or two, and that includes OS installation. I also perform OS/kernel updates now and then and so far my system has survived all of these adventures. In my experience, the installation process has become a lot more simple over the years. I remember I had to spend days trying to get my dongle working with that old akstre garbage.
While I agree that compiling the TBS drivers is a pain, doing a few compiles will get you the necessary experience. Regarding DiSEqC, when it comes to professional use, it just adds one more point of failure so in the end I'm not surprised about its omission in the docs.
Perhaps my biggest issue so far was the proprietary client software, namely that nasty udev bug that was eventually addressed. I just wish its disk write issue did not require these RAM disk hacks. Sidenote: I still wonder why this is happening, maybe the client is doing a forced cache flush, then perform a hash check to make sure data has been written to disk properly? I mean, the Linux disk cache system could easily take care of fast write spikes.
As for the hardware I'm running, it's an off-lease 4th gen core i5 Lenovo SFF with 8GB of RAM, with a TBS 6903 inside. The dish I'm using is a 1.8m Prodelin with a Russian feedhorn, with a single cable setup, using a splitter to feed both inputs of the card.