I've been using Mint since 2.2, and all I can say is that it's probably been the most user-friendly distro available. However, I just downloaded the latest release (LMDE 201204 - Cinnamon [64-bit]). I am using the very same HP laptop that I've used with all my previous installations of Mint, but for some reason, no matter what I try, I continue to end up with the following message on screen: "[ ###.######] panic occurred, switching back to text console"
Apparently this has to be some sort of bug, because I get the exact same thing when I try installing Debian and Ubuntu 12.04.
I can install practically any distro under the sun except for the two latest releases from Mint and Ubuntu. I went as far as installing CentOS, Arch Linux, openSUSE, and PC-BSD just to make sure there wasn't anything wrong with my hardware.
I was really looking forward to trying out the new Cinnamon desktop, especially after everything I've seen so far.
Update: Since I can't get Mint (or much less any other Debian-based distros) installed on my laptop anymore, I've just decided to switch over to Arch. If you're a beginner, I don't suggest it. Arch takes time and patience to install and configure. It also takes some know-how, and a willingness to get your hands dirty with the command prompt. However, once everything is set up the way you want, it can definitely be a rock-solid, speed-daemon! But, if you're new to Linux, then I suggest sticking with Mint or openSUSE or Fedora.