if you or your wife don't want to learn a lot of new stuff, stick with the more "windows-like" distros. since you had trouble with mandrake before, RH (now called Fedora for the desktop version) wouldn't be a bad choice. there's tons of red hat users and support -- their docs tend to be really good, too, from the ones i've read.
slackware is arguably the best distro
<pls, no flames> but it doesn't sound like it would be best for your needs. same for debian. SuSE might be okay, but for some reason i didn't like it. if you have a good feeling for it, it definitely would be worth a try, though. otherwise, i would go with the RH9 disk you already have, or Fedora, http://fedora.redhat.com/
you should have no hardware trouble with any distro with the components you listed. gl