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IT will not matter which distro you use. The good thing about linux is that you can completely change the look of your system by changing the window manager.
When you first install your system you will be given two options of windows managers KDE and Gnome. I use KDE. However both of these look very similar to MS and Apple so download "Window Maker", this is very different to anything you would have seen before.
I think you should try Fedora first. And customise your installation not to include gnome and kde package. Then download the rpm for redhat 8.0 for windowmaker. Newer installation package doesn't look good. Also look for 'window manager' for other nice non-windows-looking window manager.
Which ever distro you chose, if you don't like
a windows-look stay clean of KDE, Gnome,
if text-mode is fine, and you want others to
decide for you which packages can play together,
start with anything debian based ... apt will
take care of your needs (and does this far
better than any RPM based distro I know).
If a little more effort (and full control) is your
gusto try Slackware ... :)
SuSE came with gnome, kde, windowmaker and few others..i'm using fluxbox...i'm totally impressed and satisfied with it...it's quick, easy, stable and fun and runs great on older pc's...like mine, a 500mhz with 191mb of ram....
Mandrake includes many different Window Managers. During the install, select "other desktops" in the package selection screen.
When you first login, look at the drop list to select one of the several WMs. Feel free to try the different WMs.
Then configure a contrib urpmi source and use urpmi to install ion and fluxbox. Fluxbox is very popular for it's speed and simplicity. And I gaurantee Ion is very different from anything you've ever seen.
What can I say? The basic installl and set-up of slack is
about as easy as Mandrake (for instance). Afterwards
you need to learn, there's no fandangly wizards or
mouse-driven gadgets for every possible configuration
task. You need to read, and master a text-editor.
However you're rewarded with intimate knowledge of
your machine, a stunning performance and total control.