Usually play it on my win7 machine considering I can't be arsed to swap to another OS due to my condition, it's quite a serious one actually, called laziness. I hear it spreads like wildfire.
"Best" depends more on hardware than software (since it's just java). Though running a server on a secondary dedicated machine is a bit less troublesome.
IIRC this was a bug with 1.3 and earlier where minecraft would reach the 901MB limit of RAM and then "crash". Since then it looks to have been fixed.Windows is too prone to black screens of death.
But as always with these sorts of things, your mileage will always vary.