There's a lot of cr@p being posted here about the supposedly huge differential between building a start-up atop Windows vs. *N*X.
This is not necessarily true.
Rackspace virtual machine hosting for Windows instances is $8 per month more compared to (otherwise identical) Red Hat instances. If you want to host a cloud/web-based solution, there are a ton of Windows hosting providers offering everything from shared (@ $2.99 a month) to dedicated hosting (@ $150 a month) and everything inbetween which should allow you to find a solution to fit your needs and budget. Explore some of the options here: http://www.microsoft.com/web/hosting/home.
Also, take care to do your own research - don't mistake the ignorance of others as actual reality.
For example, Azure is, increasingly, a really kick-ass infrastructure. The enormous investment Microsoft is putting into this infrastructure & the associated tooling is now really starting to pay off with the introduction of the Azure CDN, eventing & pub-sub delivery network, elastic scalability and availability, etc. And if you wish, you can host .NET, Win32, PHP, Java, Ruby and anything else you can run in Windows within your Azure instances too.
In general, the costs for your hardware, software and licenses are going to be dwarfed by your costs for legal, HR, accounting, travel, marketing, rent, supplies, etc. If they're not, chances are that you're doing it wrong! Buying all your founding members MacBook Pro's so that they can write Ruby/PHP/Perl, for example, is just stupid.
Building a start-up with astronomically high IT costs is only going to lead to ruin, but investing in tools and technologies that reduce your time to market (e.g. Visual Studio) is often money well spent. I've spent a lot of times in Eclipse, NetBeans and XCode recently - they don't even come close to VS when the going gets tough.
Augmenting some of those investments with judicious use of additional free and/or commercial offerings (e.g. Mercurial/GIT, BitBucket/GitHub source private/public hosting, an effective task & bug tracking system, etc.) is wise and effective.
Regarding .NET on non-Microsoft platforms, I have been VERY impressed with Mono of late - particularly the platform-specific bindings to iOS & Android that Miguel & Co. created in the now sadly defunct MonoTouch and MonoDroid (thanks Attachmate ... not!).
I'll be one of Xamarin's first customers when they ship their new products to replace the now defunct MonoTouch and MonoDroid and I plan on contributing to Mono where I can. Being able to reuse a very significant portion of my code across PC/Laptop, Windows Phone, iOS, Android, Linux, OSX, BSD is a wonderful thing.