Distro? There are a couple that I really
like. SUSE Enterprise Desktop 10.1 is my first choice for a windows replacement. For a system that I'd use for more technical uses, Fedora Core 5. FC 6 is coming out soon and I may decide in favor of it.
Mind you, I've been working with Linux since Slackware 1.x (1994) and UNIX since 1990 so I have experience working with it. I'm one of those guys that installs Gentoo for fun!
I've tried Linspire, Ubuntu, Mandrake, Mandriva, Debian, and others. All good distros, but SUSE actually 'felt' right when I installed it. Therefore, that will be the replacement for Windows.
One nice thing about Linux, though. Every new release for most distros have features that are improved upon. It isn't 'vaporware', promised features are implemented, security 'holes' fixed. You can't say that for ANY MS Windows product including Vista! I suppose that's because it's what you get from an outfit that's more interested in Marketing than actually producing a high quality product.
I use XP SP2 daily only because it's necessary to what I do. When XP SP2 finally bites the dust, my workload will change significantly and I will be using Linux 100% instead of 60%.
One last thing. I am still running my old 486 DX100 system with FC5! Something else you can't do with XP!
BTW: handicomp is short for The Handicapped Computerist.