I've just started my Linux journey, coming over from Windows XP. It's been about a week now, and most of that time has been spent trying to get the wireless to work (on another distro) with this old Netbook (a Samsung N130). Being a newbie, it has been daunting being thrown in the deep end having to 'backport' and compile drivers etc., but I am glad of the experience it has given me in the shell. In the end though, for all my efforts, I was unable to get it to work. So, I had to start looking for another distro that did support my device (Realtek RTL8192SE) and PCLinuxOS came highly recommended.
But having now seen PCLinuxOS in action, I'm so glad I did have problems, because otherwise I would not have discovered this wonderful OS. I have never seen such a gorgeous UI as this has (the MATE desktop), and my Netbook has never been so fast and responsive, even when it was on Windows. With Windows, I usually had to wait three or four minutes after turning it on before it was in a usable state (having to wait for Kaspersky to load, etc.), but this takes just one minute (I timed it).
I decided, perhaps recklessly -- time will tell -- that it was time to make a clean break from Windows, so I backed up all my files and then installed the first distro on top of it, rather than alongside it, burning my bridges as it were so there was no going back. But so far, I'm not missing it at all, and am looking forward to becoming proficient in all things Linux. It is fascinating reading about it, and from all rational points of view, it is the best thing to do. To change from 'the evil monopoly' to open source, from paid software to free, from antivirus to no antivirus. But nonetheless, I have become very dependent on Microsoft over the years, so it is a scary leap to have taken.
One thing though, I'm just coming to grips with this idea of software repositories and the fact than in PCLinuxOS you're only supposed to use one, and not get your software from anywhere else. However I found that out after I had installed some third-party software -- the real Google Chrome -- because I just wanted at least one thing that was familiar. So what I want to know is whether I am breaking any rules by installing that, or whether those rules are just guidelines? Because if necessary, I'll uninstall it, but I hope I don't have to, because it's working fine, and it does come from a trustworthy source (Google).