i shouldnt do that, but im bored.
lets check out linux.
linux changed. everyone can nowadays install it. the newest and coolest sh** are livecds. knoppix and gentoo have both great ones out there. use google to get them, i dont post any links (too lazy).
why are they great? well, a major downpoint of linux was always the hardware support. now you can actually check if your comp supports everything before you do an install. you just put the livecd into your drive, boot it up, see if everything is correct, then install it. pretty great. im using knoppix now, got all hardware correct on my laptop.
now to the "normal" distros.
forget corel linux, forget mandrake. both bankrupt.
slackware, debian and suse. choose one of them. (gentoo was already in the livecd section).
debian: easy installation system after you got it on your pc. the apt-get thing is really great, but you get lazy and if you ever have a real problem with programs you want to install, then you are fux0red, doing it by hand is better in my opinion. you learn alot from it. also you only get really free sofwtare with debian, that means all your program code will be free too because you used only gpl'ed software.
HINT: try ./configure --help
suse: german distro, my choice baby! downpoints are that they have major issues with their security and updates. i cant get gtk running and so every program that dpends on gtk 2.0 doesnt run, which is of course everything right now. they have had that problem forever and will have it forever. good hardware support though, along with yast2 a charme.
slackware: nice one, was the only distro that got my dhcpd setting correct. i can only recommen it and it still has this "elite" touch somehow.
now to my real opinion.
as long as you have a linux on your system, who cares anway, because after a while its "your" system. i installed Suse 6.4 some years ago, and after some months all that was left was the basic system and yast from their distro. thats the good thing, you can change everything you want with linux.
*cough* *bsds owns though, if you want to be leet get them. why? average load isnt too high, they run perfectly, and are very secure.