I am an IT person who just recently made the "switch" to Linux. I say that with a disclaimer. I run a dual boot to Windows XP for Sims 2, Star Wars: Empire At War, and various tycoons. I am relatively new to Linux. I've played with K/X/Ubuntu, Suse, SimplyMEPIS, Mandriva, Knoppix, PCLinuxOS, Linux XP, Linspire, Gentoo, Arch. Some more than others. I've attached myself to the *buntus and Knoppix and even SimplyMEPIS. I don't want a Windows clone. I don't want it so simple that it's boring, but I want a distro that will recognize my SATA harddrive or at least let me mount it with rw permissions fairly easily. My ultimate goal is to get rid of Windows entirely, but until the previously mentioned games run on it ... I need to run my DVD editing stuff, music stuff, and web design on it as well.
I recognize that every distro has to be tweaked. My question is, which one (perhaps just in your experience) is best for tackling these issues? I lean towards Ubuntu, but there are still some issues there. I love Knoppix, but I want it installed on my harddrive and from what I've read that's not a great option. I like APT. I want to experiment with different programs. I have broadband. I have an AMD athlon XP +2000 (waiting on a motherboard and processor upgrade I just purchased. I think it's an AMD athlon64 +3000),778 RAM (will have 1gig after upgrade), nvidia geforce 5200. Yes, I'd like the 3d acceleration, so I'll install the drivers.
Please, just give me your opinions and why you feel that way. Thanks in advance.