Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
I have been using Ubuntu since 2006 and I always felt that it is one of the easiest to use distro, especially for new Linux users. That was in the past. Nowadays, when people ask me for recommendation, I would certainly recommend Linux Mint over Ubuntu, and here are the reasons.
Note: This is mainly a comparison of Linux Mint and Ubuntu (unity version) and why I think Linux Mint is better. No offense to those who are using other distro and loving it.
Cinnamon vs Unity
Canonical (the team behind Ubuntu) created a new desktop manager, also known as Unity and added their own customizations to it. Similarly, Linux Mint also created their own version of desktop manager, also known as Cinnamon (a fork of Gnome 3) and use it for Linux Mint 13 and 14. The only difference between the two – Cinnamon gives a much better user experience than Unity.