If this is your first experience using Linux, I recommend using an up-to-date version of a popular distribution that has been built for desktop and laptop usage. Backtrack does not meet these requirements for all of the reasons that John VV mentioned. I'd recommend the latest version of Ubuntu or Mint, personally, but you can head over to distrowatch.com and choose anything on their top ten list. Don't be afraid to experiment with different distributions, either. With any luck, your wireless will just work out of the box on a modern, desktop-oriented distro.
If you're interested in doing security work, you can install the same tools used by Backtrack/Kali in these distributions. They're not optimized for security work, but the same tools can be installed, particularly if you're willing to do a bit of work and figure out how to enable additional repositories.
Last edited by btmiller; 02-22-2014 at 02:00 PM.