Yeah, I know, this has been asked a million times, but I've found the linux community to be rather friendly so hopefully I won't get flamed.
I've been reading up on different distributions for several hours now. In the past, I've tried Redhat 9 (absolutely terrible experience with RPMs), SuSE (Again, RPMs are the devil), and Slackware (which was a nightmare getting certain hardware to work, especially my monitor/video card)
After playing with these distros I found myself booting into Windows more and more and I just stopped using Linux altogether. This was due to the fact that I couldn't get my printer to work in Linux, I couldn't get shared files to work, and I couldn't get my CD burner to work. Plus there's one program in Windows, http://foobar2000.org/
which I absolutely love.
Now my CD burner is burned out, so I'm going to be buying a CD/dvd-rw soon. I'll be sure to buy based on Linux compatibility.
I liked Slackware, except for the hardware issues with my display. The package management system is okay, it's a lot better than RPMs anyways. The main reason I want to try something else is because apt-get is very appealing to me.
I'm looking for a distribution that is:
1. Based on Debian's apt-get
2. Not too hard to install--I don't mind if it's text based or what many people would consider "difficult," just as long as I don't have to go through the nightmare of fixing problems with hardware compatibility.
3. Good hardware compatability-wise. Added again for emphasis.
4. A desktop oriented distribution, as I will be using it for school work, surfing the web, chatting online, and listening to music. I will be dual booting with Windows 2000 and using Windows 2000 for any web design that I need to do.
Reading reviews on lq and distrowatch.com I've looked at Debian Sarge, Mepis, and Gentoo. Gentoo isn't apt-get based, but I read that its package management system is very similar to apt-get except for the fact that it compiles everything, and coming from slackware I won't mind that.
Any opinions or comments? All replies will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.