The problem with OpenBSD is that everything is already assembled like with most other distros (i.e., ISO's). What you're really paying for is for them to compile and link everything. I don't think that a network install is substantially better (compared to other system's). That's just my opinion.
Like Slackware, it also helps fund the project. You don't really pay for the product itself.
From Wikipedia: "Prepackaged CD-ROM sets can be ordered online for a small fee, complete with an assortment of stickers and a copy of the release's theme song. These, with its artwork and other bonuses, are one of the project's few sources of income, funding hardware, bandwidth and other expenses."
And the OpenBSD site: "Note that only the CD layout is copyrighted, OpenBSD itself is free. Nothing precludes someone else from downloading OpenBSD and making their own CD."
Also: I just looked on an FTP site. It looks like their newest version has some kind of install ISO, but I think it's just the base, no ports.
Of course, OpenBSD is known for its security - but it more-or-less hasn't any advantage over the other two major BSD's if you are willing to configure them properly.
Or any OS really. But I do think that they put more time and thought into making their OS secure by including or setting up things in a certain way by default that would have to be manually enabled on other OSes.
My personal favorite is NetBSD - and OpenBSD doesn't hold a candle to it for compatibility (i.e., drivers, processors supported, etc.). Like the ad says:
NetBSD...Unix for your toaster!
I've never used it, though I did want to at one point. I downloaded the ISO a year or two ago and tried it, but it wouldn't work for some reason. So I went to my #2 choice on the to-try list which was OpenBSD. If I ever get more computers (or more toasters
), I will have a chance to try more OSes.
The most popular BSD is FreeBSD, which if you want or need some new (less than 6 months to one year) technology, than it may be for you. It will also usually have the most updated software, generally speaking.
I thought about that, but then I thought that I would also want things like Flash for the web, which requires Linux emulation, or tools for my phone, which don't work at all under BSD. So, I thought, why not take the path of least resistance?