Lucky for you trouble I've done all those things, I even used to stream trans coded HD video across the network to my 360 becuase the 360 didn't support subtitles and it didn't support .mkv's in h264 either. Was using a program called TVersity.
As far as using photoshop for what you want that really isn't photoshops thing. It sounds more like premiere and aftereffects with some illustrator thrown in.
I'm working on some website work this week and probably some of next week but after that hopefully I will have vmware installed. I will also go over what I can for photoshop and other programs and possibly their free/cheaper alternatives.
I'm doing a bunch of css this week, I used to be good at it but apparently I've gotten rusty lol.
There are other reasons to run linux/unix/amiga/BeOS/Hailku/ReactOS besides the ones you mentioned. As far as geek cred goes... your more likely to get it helping out on software or writing documents than you are running the OS :P If I ever hear the expression "becuase it makes me a cooler geek" I think I will have to retire my commission lol. If you really want "geek cred" though I will show you how to compile your self optimized kernel, strip windows drives and use a wrapper to enable the function of nonfunctioning hardware (might not be able to do this, the old laptop that I had to do this for died a year ago lol) and Ill show you how to compile custom patches in Wine to update bug fixes so you can game in Linux :P
Many of the reasons to be involved with OSS have to do with solidarity and a Raison d'Ítre. Being part of something greater, and being able to contribute to the group that makes it possible.
Not all the reasons are for seething hatred of a oppressive monopoly with deep pockets :P
Thanks for the extra ideas and keep them coming. The more you give me the more I have to work with.