Re: FSF recommended distros
On the other hand it's a very odd, limited list
Distributions on that list must be fully free with only GPL licensed software that can in principle be built from source. That means no binary wifi drivers (e.g. thinkpad laptops with their Intel wifi) and no binary video drivers (e.g. nvidia cards - the open source driver is ok for basics but for the full capability you need nvidia's own binary drivers).
Distributions must also be self-building, so everything is compiled from source on a build system somewhere and the binaries distributed from a repository run by the distribution (so no binaries pulled in direct from e.g. Debian repos).
Trisquel is quite nice and 'modern', based on Ubuntu LTS. The default GUI is quite a nice take on Gnome 3 but with panels. You can of course use any of the other GUIs in the repos.
gNewSense 3.1 is older (Gnome 2) and basically a free Debian Squeeze. gNewSense 4 is in the works, based on Wheezy. I keep a copy on a bootable USB stick as a 'live disk' for emergencies.