I agree with your assessment. The reason why suggested Blender is because it was free and it gives him two choices instead of one. Also they have a lot of tutorial videos on there site. You can run Blender on Windows , Linux, and maybe Macs. Blender has short movies on YouTube. And I am guess that he has a student version of Maya.
As for as the other post regarding the .Net guy. He said that .net net is on of best IDE around for what he does. Now if he would .net is one of the best SDK for what I do,I would not have much of an issue. I did not want to cause a flame war. So included some links for him. One of those link was an article on Donald Knuth. Where he makes the arguments on the principle of program and his thought on Opensource.
I still use windows (Vista=ME). But my main OS is Ubuntu, I have installed and use at lease 20 Distro before choosing Ubuntu. I keep updated with Linux Distro by visiting Distrowatch.