Unless there is some specific feature of the OS I want to beta test, I always wait until release.
The one feature I want was talked about on RedHat's feature tracking system -- BitLocker-like functionality if the machine has a TPM. What does this mean in nontech terms? It means I can have a server boot unattended without needing a password to start up, but if someone pulls the hard disks out and tries to access the data, its all encrypted. For most people, this doesn't sound like a big thing, but for me where I have had to locate servers in very remote (and relatively physically insecure) locations, it is an excellent safeguard.
*sigh* I said I was going to "play" with it, not "run it on a mission critical server." I installed it, played with it for a couple of hours, filed my bug reports, and went to bed. That's what beta testing is for. Duh?
mmerner, if nobody ever ran beta versions, there would never be final versions. I filed my bug reports on it so they can get fixed.