Photography and Linux

Is it possible for a professional photographer to use a FOSS-based workflow? I'm a professional photographer based out of Miami, Florida. I learned photography on my own, starting at age 12, with a Yashica TL Electro 35mm film SLR. In college, I discovered I also had quite an affinity for computers and programming, so I got my degrees in that field. I landed an IT job in county government, and photography took a back seat in my life until two things happened: I became a father, and the digital revolution came to the world of photography.

The High-Performance Computing Issue

Since the dawn of computing, hardware engineers have had one goal that's stood out above all the rest: speed. Sure, computers have many other important qualities (size, power consumption, price and so on), but nothing captures our attention like the never-ending quest for faster hardware (and software to power it). Faster drives. Faster RAM. Faster processors. Speed, speed and more speed. [Insert manly grunting sounds here.] What's the first thing that happens when a new CPU is released? Benchmarks to compare it against the last batch of processors.