is there away to avoid the huge list of things to install that I dont understand? Like a way were it will pick the best for me.
As far as I remember, you can just accept the default during setup. This may mean that you don't get everything that you like installed at once but it's really easy to add it later. In fact, once a distro has been out for a month or so, I do not recommend installing too much. Packages get updated so fast that most of what you installed will immediately be replaced with an update.
Gnome, KDE, it's a matter of personal taste. KDE is said to be more windows like but I prefer Gnome because its menus are less cluttered. Also, I find that it makes it easier to understand how a Linux system is organized. Mandriva has made its KDE a beauty, though, so you may still want to install it, if only to admire it LOL. Anyway, you can install both if you want to, I always did until I finally made up my mind. It's just a few hundred megabytes extra.
As for your resolution issue, that can be solved in either of two ways.
1. install the proprietary nvidia driver once you've got your system running - this is the easier solution.
2. edit a file called xorg.conf that specifies resolution (among many other things). Not difficult but a bit more work than just checking off a few boxes. I remember one case where I was pretty much forced to follow this approach because my windows were so blown up that I couldn't get at the "OK" button to confirm that I really wanted to install the nvidia driver. Oh the irony. : P