yeah u will have to partition, but as sgood1971 said, suse, mandrake & mepis have an option to do it automatically for u.
whatever you do, don't give up until u've tried it.
as i said before, u can get the latest mandrake 10.1(3 CDs) with LinuxFormat from any WHSmith. even that small one @ waterloo stn has it
that's where i got mine or if u want, u can have my copy 'cos i'll probably just end up throwing it away.
and it is possible to share an internet connection between ur pc's as long as you have the that's needed(network cards, cables, a hub if you have 3 or more pc's ....etc.). how u actually go about setting it up is a question i can't answer
sorry, but i'm sure(100% certain actually) there are plenty of ppl here that will know.