If you want a good easy to use distro that you can learn stuff as well go with Red Hat 9 , Fedora is a piece of shit , honestly. I have used Redhat 7.3, 9.0, Fedora Core 3, SuSe 9.1, Slack 10, and the best is slack. But I think that for your needs you'll probably like RedHat9.0. SuSe is good for noob, but you will not learn how to do anything under SuSe. And just an advice as a noob to a noob, learn how to install from source, it is the best thing, saves many many hassles and is easier than RPM,s. Also if you install from source make sure u use checkinstall as well.
Stay away from Fedora, it is weird, has it's own way of doing things , and if you have a problem, which you will have with it, you'll have hard time finding help. I find Slack much much easier then fedora and it is supposed to be the opposite way around.