I'm in something like the same position, only I installed linux on my laptop so I could use the GIMP instead of having to pay through the nose for Paintshop or Photoshop.
I've got to say, as a newbie Mandrake user, the alternatives provided on my Mandrake disks are universally excellent. Whilst there's obviously nothing quite like Word or Dreamweaver, there are things that come so close it makes practically no difference.
My advice, from Rookie to another is just to stick it out as far as possible with the Linux alternatives. That way you get plenty of nice surprises!
As for Bible reading, A quick Google reveals this nice little page, which might be, if you'll pardon a terrible joke, the answer to your prayers!
Bible for Linux Project