probably 90% of the dual boots out there are 98se and some debianistic-redhattian-suseish flavor of linux. the absolute best thing for any newbie to do is just to go to a comp. store and buy a distro for abou $30 or so. that, or you can just download some iso's for free.
either way, there's about ten million threads here on any topic or problems you might end up with when dealing with a first installation. chances are it will go pretty smoothly - anyone with a decent amount of computer experience usually has few if any problems. my recommendation is to go ahead and take the plunge, pop in an install cd, and feel absolutely free to bug us with any other questions you might have along the way.