I use BitTorrent for downloading music, movies and linux distro's. Back in the day bitTorrent didnt exist and I relied on bbs and ftp, these are two direct, centrally located ways that I shared files in the past. I also have played around with XDCC's on irc, gnutella, which most people know as limewire.
While I will always prefer the old ways, like dialing up to the local bbs and logging in to a ftp, or swinging by an xdcc channel, the new alternative is... "just ok for now" I hope it is better optimized, more secure, and more anonymous in the future. I have tried all the command line BitTorrent clients, and they are awesome with memory/cpu usage but that isnt the preferred way anymore, most resort to GUI clients, and there are a few to choose from that kick ass. Here is a few to think about: