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It seems that the current implementation in https://github.com/mono/mono/blob/0985d4a/mcs/class/System.Drawing/System.Drawing/SystemFonts.cs always returns Microsoft fonts for SystemFonts attributes. While this makes the return values more Windows-like, this violates the intended semantics of this class to return fonts being used in the OS itself.
A very easy solution, assuming libgdiplus usage (which in turn assumes fontconfig usage), is to use "Sans" instead.
I was almost going to suggest using libgdiplus generic (which is still conforming to MSDN assuming Tahoma is not there), and then I went to read the source and found out about bug 40795. That hurts.