I totally agree that Mandrake makes you lazy with Linux. It relies on to much, therefore it makes it easier for the general public to use. But at the same token Fedora is similar to that too. If your getting into Linux to learn something new and to maybe if have a challenge here or there, but still want something easy, go with Fedora Core.
Sure, I've had my problems on Mandrake 7 back in the day. But I installed M10 a few weeks ago before I had Fedora. Its even more simple now than it was back then. But I want to do things my self rather than have the GUI do everything for me. Fedora will still do everything for you, but you can always add things in your self - any distro does that.
Fedora is simple and has great support everywhere. Just depends on what you want Linux for I suppose.