Shuttleworth's bad timing
Recent upgrades in Ubuntu, Shuttleworth's distribution of Linux, have managed to cause lots of hardware to stop working. My own computers have stopped playing any audio and stopped working with my web cams. There are lots of questions on linuxquestions.org complaining of hardware problems when using Ubuntu and its derivatives. If you read the ubuntuforums.org you will see that there are lots of questions posted there about hardware that was working and has stopped following some update. The Canonical team has really messed up and there is no indication that they have any interest in fixing these many hardware compatibility problem.
If you want to try Linux I would have to recommend PC Linux OS (pclinuxos.com). Their 2009.1 product appears to be working fairly well with a broad range of hardware. Unfortunately, as with all Linux distributions, there is no guarantee that any given update will break a hardware driver and leave you with a crippled machine and no idea if the developers even want to fix the problem that they created.
Mind you I hate Microsnot but I also am very frustrated with the way that Linux distributions are managed by their developers.
And don't even think about mentioning Macintosh. Those overpriced smug boxes are getting almost as many viruses as Windows computers.