I used to use solx86, and one of our flybase programmers uses
it now all the time. The main problems I ran into were dealing
with the specific hardware supported by solx86, not all the
confusing range of Intel hardware OEMs and addon cards
have drivers for solx86. Sun tries to keep up, but you should
be sure your hardware is on its list of supported parts, or buy
to match. Assuming no hardware problems, solx86 runs much like
sol on sparc. I found it much less a hassle than Linux to install
and manage (but that was a couple years back).
A rumor I heard recently is that Sun is thinking of switching
from solx86 to linux as its supported system for x86; bowing I guess
to the marketplace where it is clear that linux is the more popular
system, and has a clear edge over any other unix as a user-workstation
OS, with its user apps and workspace options. Solaris looks better
in scalability/stability/thruput as a server/multiuser system OS, though.
-- gilbertd at bio.indiana.edu