I am relatively new to the linux scene. the first thing I would say is beware of asking questions like this. you can get some prety snappy responses from the cognoscenti around here although some are really helpful.
secondly, have a look at the distro specific pages. see what users are saying about their preferred distro
thirdly, to use ANY kind of linux requires knowledge and awareness of the command line. Unlike Windows, you need to do a bit of work to get your machine working.
fourth, somewhere around the web are adverts for companies who will send you disks of the distribution of your choice (if they stock it) just do a search or try www.linuxmedia.co.uk
. they tnd to have older versions. you wont spend hours, days and weeks downloading. There must be a similar outfit where you are.
fifth, buy something like Linuxformat magazine (UK) It comes with a DVD with a plethora of software including some of the smaller ones.
last I tried Knoppix as a live cd a few years ago. I reckon some of the live distros will suit your needs better than the larger more modern versions.