I've been trying to go the legal way since last friday. Ubuntu was nice except DVD/CD burning. I managed to install K3B that way that a normal user can burn, but the Writer never shows up. It seems it is a compatibility problem between cdrecord and the linux kernel. Fine... No way in hell that I'm going to be able to fix it.
What is the distro that comes with KDE and always has come with KDE? SuSE! Sounds ideal because the end user will be a german speaker. Download 9.1 Personal (the other versions weren't very clear "Eval"? No, I want the full thing.)
Anyways, I install it and get another "Wow" feeling. Niiiiiice! K3B works out of the box, but seems to extract Audio CD's at 1x. Why? Only God knows and I didn't bother investigating.
Well, at least the NVidia drivers seem to be easy to install. Yast... click, click, reading warning that it could go majorly wrong. Assume it will not. Confirm, reboot... Oops! Eternal reboot cycle. Using the CD, I mount hda1, change "nvidia" to "nv" in XF86Config. (Oh, yes, SuSE didn't have any problem with the monitor, just in case you wondered) Reboot... Works again!
The alternate way of installing the drivers includes GCC, Make and the kernel source. I'd install it, but the only install source I have is the CD and that stuff ain't on it. Hoping that google would give me a good "installation source" I go on a search quest. I don't find anything that looks okay. Sorry, that's it...
Look, I wanted to do it the legal and good way and save one soul from the evil influence of Redmond. I really wanted, but I lost 6 fucking days in order to get Linux running to an acceptable level. Okay, we get to 95%, but not to the 100% *required* by myself. SmilingGirl isn't very happy that I spent so much time with a computer that isn't even for me. When I told her that installing Windows would take another two days (including testing) I only got a deep sigh.
On top of that, I have lots of stuff to do for school. I don't know where I'll find the time to do that before mondey.
So in summary: Linux works fine if you can live with a few problems. Some are legal (NVidia & codecs), some are technical (Ubuntu leaving out GUI CD/DVD burning) and some are human (me giving up after only 6 days... a real geek would have at least tried another twenty distributions)
For me in the long term it will mean more work, because it will be one more computer to keep spyware and virus free.
I hate my life... Why didn't I become a car mechanic or so. Computers suck! (Posted on SuSE 9.1 without binary NVidia drivers)