I'm not brand new here, been doing lots of lurking and made a few posts but I hadn't ever properly introduced myself.
Long time Mac user here. I have been increasingly unhappy with Apple for a long time and have been keeping an eye on Linux for quite awhile. I always loved the idea of Linux but it never seemed quite ready.
Having two Macs die on me in quick succession irked me so I dug up an old PC and started downloading distros. Starting last January I hopped around for a couple of months and was not really happy.
Ubuntu 11.10 and Mint12 came the closest but just didnt hit the spot somehow but then Mint13 Cinnamon came out and all of a sudden things seemed really nice. It's nothing major. It's the combined effect of lots of little improvements that put that final shine on things. The 1.6.1 Cinnamon release is a very nice improvement.
I couldn't be happier now.
After so long in the constrained world of Apple the simple pleasure of choosing my own theme and deciding where my window widgets are seems like a real luxury. I am really impressed by the overall quality of Mint. I am really not very technical. I have always been kind of a geek but in the graphics area; Photoshop, Quark, Indesign, that kind of thing. Complicated programs to be sure but I know nothing of things like programing or even the basics of terminal instructions.
The beauty is that I really don't need to know all of that stuff. Mint presents a fully functioning, ready to get things done OS right out of the box. I like the aesthetics and I like how the Mint and Cinnamon developers have made really nice GUI tools that are easy to figure out and quite feature rich. In particular I appreciate Nemo. It's new and obviously in progress but it works great and this old GUI jockey finds being able to right click "Open As Root" to be a real help. I am just more comfortible doing things like installing themes in the GUI and now I can more easily than before. No more gksudo!
I also really support the objectives of the Mint project. I have been keeping up on Mint news and I like the direction of the project and think Clem and his crew have a good bead on how one assembles of great OS. So far I have liked every change.
Looking around the Linux press seems like Mint is stealing Ubuntu's spotlight and goes to show that a few good developers and a good idea can produce a better product than a multi million dollar corporation. I think Mint has succeeded in accomplishing what Shuttleworth was/is trying to do, which is the truly civilian friendly OS on Linux.
Then there is the Mint community. I find these forums to be very friendly, a bit slow at times but that's nobodies fault. I was tickled to see the featured developer of the month was 13 years old and doing important work in Cinnamon. That is a real community there.
I have become very enthusiastic about Mint and switching to Mint has revived my inner geek. I was bored out of my mind with OSX. Nine years of an essentially stagnant Desktop environment that allowed very little customization was kinda dispiriting geek-wise. But things are really happening around here.