Also is there a good website that will tell me what programs normally compatible with Windows are compatible with Linux?
Not quite sure what you mean here. If you expect Linux to work like Windows then you may be disappointed. You need to realise that it's different and then give it a chance. Don't think Windows.
Programs? Do you mean standard stuff like Office 2008 which is being pushed hard in the UK media at present; Radio and TV? The main Office suite used in Linux is Open Office which can handle probably everything you'd need. I don't believe anyone uses all the functions of MS Office and all the people with 2008 have problems sending documents to their friends who are still running 2003! Open Office can handle both formats, 2003 can't. There are a lot of other choices as well dependent on your needs, disk space, etc.
Photoshop? You can use the Gimp, (You can download it for Windows too.) Maya 3d Modeling? Use Blender. The last two well known Microsoft Applications are mega pricey.
If you want to run games I'm afraid I'd advise buying a PS3 or an Xbox. If you really
want to play Windows games, stick to Windows as you need to add an extra layer of complexity to Linux and what's the point - or you could dual boot Windows/Linux
Why don't you give us a list of the Applications you want to run and we can advise?