I wish I could help you, but it's a struggle to solve my own problems with Debian...I'm one or two levels above linux 'newbie' and certainly no expert.
If this is the first Linux distro you've tried, then I would suggest trying a few of the others. I started with Redhat 7, then Redhat 9, then Fedora 1,2 and 3 before switching to Debian - I've found it a lot easier to work with than Redhat/Fedora.
If switching to another distro sounds a bit extreme, then your only option is to do a lot of 'googling'.
First place to start would be a forum that deals specifically with your distro.
I'm curious though - have you ever had anti-alias fonts working or have you just installed a new distro?
My guess is that it's a configuration with the font server - are you using Xfree86/x-org? Might be another good starting point...
How about these links -
The Linux Documentation Project
Linux Fonts Howto
Sorry I can't be more help.