I'm a newcomer- 2010.
Got my first 'puter in 1999. Had nev er used a computer before in my life- but I learnt of the existence of Linux literally within days of getting that first computer. I immediately was intrigued. The way I think, I figured "If Windows is the big popular OS that 'everyone' uses, and which comes pre-installed on every computer...it must really SUCK!". Boy, was i right! [That same mentality kept me from ever using AOL!! I was virtually a computer illiterate, but nerds thought I was one of them, because I had the sense to avoid AOL! Errr...uh...my thick glasses didn't hurt that image any, either
I looked into Linux back then- but seeing all the foreign terminology- and with computing being new to me and all, it seemed way too advanced for me. I mean, I didn't want to start carrying a slide-rule and having nose bleeds...I just wanted an OS that would work. WIN98 didn't seem too bad...so I stayed with it, till 2007.
Then came the new computer, with Vista! That did it! After a few years of Vista, I said to myself that I'd either learn to use Linux, or I'd throw my computer out the window! Luckily, by then, many linux distros had become so user-friendly, that they were actually easier to use than Windows. I started with Ubuntu 10.04 and never looked back. Went Windows-free after a few months.
I've since abandoned Ubuntu, as it has become too much like Windows these days- with it's bloat and spyware. Have since used Debian; Crunchbang; Antix...and tonight I will be installing Slackware.
The way I see it, once you use Linux, there's no going back! I've never even set eyes on Windows 7 & 8.....and that's a good thing to be able to say, in my book!