And greetings from Rhode Island!. Like you i started using Linux to mess around with stuff outside the windows world and found that there was nothing i couldnt do with mint that i could do with windows. Boots in less than half the time, got rid of that god awful blue, and found myself a part of an excellent community. I have tried several other distros, including ubuntu, mandriva, #!Crunchbang, and others. I will tell you that the mint community is absolutely the best. Like Oscar mentioned the community website is a great place to voice your opinions, and the IRC channels are always full of helpful individuals. If you are interested in the Local Linux scene in the Boston / Providence area, PM me and i can send you the info for several very active local groups.
Enjoy Mint, hack it, fork it, play with it, with mint all of a sudden your computer is fun again.