I did similar apart from the getting qualifications. I made the concious decision a number of years back that I wanted to work on supporting Linux based environments as opposed to Windows and Microsoft ones.
There were lots of reasons for this, they interested me more, I could actually obtain the software legally to play with and learn about, they generally performed better and I had more control over it.
Also, I personally felt that any Tom, Dick or Harry could go out and get an MS qualification and get a job with it, I'd worked with a lot of these "qualified professionals" and they weren't worth the money the cert cost. Unless it was something to do with Microsoft, they wouldn't have a clue. Even then, they didn't know why something was broken in such a way.
I've had jobs working with Microsoft products and other proprietary applications, and I was depressed, the money wasn't bad, but it wasn't what I wanted to do, and any suggestions to assist with free programs, got the cold shoulder. So I left, I'm now working full time with Open Source programs, I'm not a programmer and my scripting skills are poor. My focus is mainly towards server environments and virtual servers.
I've found experience with Linux and other technologies is more of a boon then an MSC. Although, it does depend on who is hiring you. If you have an RHCE or a Linux+ then you might get somewhere, but when I've been hiring, I look for experience and that someone can walk the walk rather then just talk the talk with their CV.