Hidey-ho, BostonPeng the Penguin here. [/Kermit]
I'm a former WinXP user although I've been running Ubuntu since 2007. I've helped out with the Mac4Lin dev team to get the docs for Mac4Lin 1.0 ready to release. Unfortunately a few months ago I decided I was getting tired of the decisions that The Spaceman was making for Ubuntu users (whether we like them or not, similar to what Firefox devs did when Fx3 came out). I started looking at other distros and I got two strong recommendations: Try KDE4 and look at using Mint, especially for their KDE version.
I had looked at KDE3 when I first left Windows and didn't like it but when I looked at KDE4 I was pleasantly surprised and immediately left GNOME. I still run a few GNOME apps like Geany because I can't see how to tweak Kate's UI settings to work the way I prefer (an issue for another thread) but I had to hold off trying Mint since the KDE ISO was for a DVD and my burner didn't want to behave properly. I ended up getting a flash drive and using it to look at Mint KDE and was immediately hooked.
I've been wanting to work with the Mass Ubuntu LoCo (I live in Boston) but my schedule hasn't let me make any of the meetings or functions, partly because I'm disabled and have to be really careful at times as far as how I travel on our subway system and how far I walk once I get to my final subway/bus stop. I do have a blog that I share with my sister where I post tech articles and have already started letting our readers know that I've moved to both KDE and Mint rather than the default GNOME-based Ubuntu.
I look forward to being a part of the Mint KDE community and doing what I can to bring new users over to this better implementation of GNU/Linux.