Many people complain about the font rendering in Linux distributions, and rightly so. I've never really suffered much from this problem as my visual acuity is not that perfect. 8)
Well, I was nevertheless curious and just installed the infinality bundle, a collection of freetype patches aimed to improve font rendering under Linux. The improvement is obvious even to me, and since installation is straightforward for all major distributions (Arch, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE), I'd suggest that you try it yourself.
Here's an easy-to-reproduce screenshot with an active infinality fontconfig. The small fonts used in this screenshot are indeed rendered more accurately when compared to the standard configuration. As a matter of fact, I can read them with less strain and even from a greater distance than before.
The higher the resolution of the display, the more obvious is the improvement. On the Mini with its 133 dpi, letters look essentially like printed. For even higher resolutions, subpixel-hinting and eventually antialiasing itself gradually lose their impact, but from what I've read you'd need at least 300 dpi to arrive at the point to render these techniques obsolete.