I've only ever used the kickass $15k digital oscilloscopes that my school had, so I can't comment on low end ones, but it sounds like other posters are less than impressed.
But you're thinking too small here. You're not going to do much with just an oscilloscope. You're soon probably going to want a multi-output adjustable power supply -- makes life a lot easier when you're playing around with a chip and the couple of analog circuits that it needs to interface with the outside world. If you're going to be playing with analong circuits that need an oscilloscope, that'll soon morph into the need for a function generator. And wouldn't life be a lot easier with a logic analyzer for observing the inputs/outputs of those digital components? Maybe a frequency counter can save time taking measurements or can count some event for you. Eventually it just morphs into a home lab.
I would (and did while I was in school, in fact) go to e-bay and try to build a home lab with that $2000. New test equipment is ridiculously expensive, but you can get older pieces that still work just fine for much less -- the above items + an analog oscilloscope can be easily had for $2k.
A brand new $400 analog scope from Fry's is shit compared to my probably '80s vintage Tektronix scope that I bought from somebody for $90. Got a triple output adjustable power supply for $30 (needed a bit of repair work, but manuals for old stuff frequently come with schematics), 90s vintage logic analyzer for $150, frequency counter for $90, function generator for $100. It sounds like you're less budget constrained than I was at the time, so you could probably do a lot better here.
My shitty TimeWarner cable internet is constantly having intermittent connection problems. It's happened at least three times already today. Most of the time I don't notice it, and I'd appreciate not having some horrible DRM system making the problem worse.
Oh, my point: This transition was much easier because she was using very little windows-specific software. If you can eliminate the dependencies on IE/Outlook/Word (and other Windows-specific software), then I think just about anyone can use Linux effectively. If they're trying to go from all-Microsoft to all Linux, it'll probably be tough regardless of which distribution you use.
Forced with an OS reinstall after my wife's computer died (Windows XP doesn't like the motherboard being swapped out from under it), I started her with Ubuntu this weekend.
With XP she was already using Firefox and OO.org and she's been using Gimp for awhile, so that wasn't a hurdle. She migrated to Gmail/Google Calendar a long time ago, so there was no need to learn how to use an Outlook replacement. It didn't seem to take her much time at all to pick up the file manager, and the "Places" menu allows her to jump around quickly without necessarily knowing how a Unix filesystem is structured. She seemed appreciative of the games included in Gnome (Mahjonng, Minesweeper, Solitare) , Hearts was easy to install, and we had one small Windows game that worked just fine in Wine. Using SD cards from her camera is actually easier due to the fact that it shows up under Places with a recognisable name and has an easier to access unmount function. She was using an older version of AIM for IM, but seems comfortable with Pidgin.
At some point I'm going to have to tackle a VirtualBox install so we can use iTunes to sync her iPod touch (Fuck you very much for locking the music database, Apple). I already have an XP image available on my system that I should be able to easily copy over.
Overall, it seems to be going pretty well. Except for a problem caused by the maliciousness of one device manufacturer (fuck you again, Apple), all hardware worked painlessly (I was surprised to find that even her printer was automatically installed).
I'm disappointed and refuse to buy Nintendo products from now on, but this pretty much resolves to a nop. Nintendo hasn't made a product I care about since I was in high school and there isn't really any sign of that changing.
Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.