...just my two cents but first off, folks have to learn somewhere and this is a great place to start. Second, there is a great newsletter for new folks to learn Linux on www.lockergnome.com
called the Penguin Shell. The host of that newsletter is a Linux guru that builds telescopes that uses Linux as the controller.
My preferences in order as someone who has used Linux for a while but I am ALWAYS learning new stuff:
- Redhat 7.x (7.2 is an easy install)
- Mandrake (Just basically a Redhat version with a different install routine. Great for newbies.)
I hear that Debian is good as well but have not tried it.
A totally great Gnome manager is Ximian. It has a great email client. www.ximian.com
If you want, tell me where you want them sent and I will send you the version you want. Your gonna be an old software engineer if you wait for your 56k modem to download. ;-)