I am not quite an “early adapter”, according to the scheme of Seth Godin – i belong to the “early majority” (guys who get not state of the art technology, but when it is already being used by some innovators).
Looking at the first versions of anything i see so many troubles because software/product was not being properly tested and was rushed out in order to comply with the promised release dates/dead lines. My idea of any product is that 1.01 or 1.02 are the best place to start. I won’t install Vista SP1 until i see that it is really compatible with existing software/drivers and there are no more data losses, as well as only now i am considering upgrading to Leopard, after 2 patches have been released.
I think it was at User Friendly that i have seen quite funny cartoon some 5 years ago, about star trek ship not being able to shoot because of the beta software installed. Pity can’t find it in archives. =O(
Using the first release makes you a beta tester, and if i need something to work properly without troubles – i have no luxury of using a beta product. When i have time( time, what is it ?), i may take a look at a beta version (i check out new versions of GIMP and Inkscape on regular basis, because i can easily fall back to the final release/stable one). Being excited about a product that can easy your daily life can take you into beta testing (1.0 included).
p.s. take a look at one of Seth Godin books, for example Purple Cow to understand what i am talking about.
p.p.s. Joomla has recently launched Joomla 1.5, after many month of testing and developing, and a couple of days later appeared 1.5.1, the same situation happened with Drupal 6.0 (6.1 was in 2 weeks here) which once again prove, that first version is always a beta version.