The crux of the Great Debate is that Microsoft's competitors have taken advantage of a period of economic uncertainty and security concerns to cast a disparaging eye on .NET. A small part of this is Microsoft's fault. Perhaps the term .NET has been overused. However, if you allow the din and confusion to distract you, then you are likely to miss out on an early wave of companies that are adopting .NET and will be gaining a competitive advantage.
I don't mean to imply in a non-conciliatory way that only Microsoft has good ideas. There are many smart people who don't work for Microsoft, and there are excellent products that aren't built by Microsoft. What I do mean to say is that even in an era in which Microsoft has a large competitive advantage, Microsoft is still innovating, offering tremendous customer service, and superlative products. It is for these reasons that I can spend the time and energy to evaluate the products they are offering and make a value judgment about those products and services that make my customers' lives better.