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Looks like most any of the top 10 at distrowatch will work. If you like Ubuntu (what you have listed as your Distribution), try it on the laptop. You might want to use the Gparted Live CD (see my signature) to shrink your current XP partition ahead of time.
Those other links I posted show people have Fedora, Debian, Kubuntu and Suse installed without too much trouble. Seems like the sticking points are the wireless chip, the 56k modem, and the screen resolution (which is the easiest of the three to fix).
Ubuntu so far is the best bet I would have since it has the most packages.
Sabayon IMO has good hardware detection....but is not that newbie friendly.
Mandriva is good I think....
look on wikipedia ( list of linux distros, or comparison of linux distributions ) for a distribution that focuses on hardware detection.
If you're new to linux, make sure that you have your wireless card on BEFORE it's done booting. Since most linux have to load the drivers during boot and if the devices are turned on after it they most likely won't work.
Also, if you know the drivers needed you can download them for linux on XP, save them on some external drive or CD, and install them when you're on Linux.
Mandrake 10.1 is an old distro with an old kernel ; it won't work with a recent laptop.
You could try Mandriva 2007.1-One : it's a live-cd and it provides a lot of drivers. http://www.mandriva.com/en/download
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.10 / Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit / Snow Leopard 10.6.4 64-Bit
Admittedly, the gui ain't the best IMHO, But it has _wonderful_ hardware detection and loads of drivers.
NOTE:I have no afillation with frozentech. I just like the price.