Just to share my experience... I will post this one on both Linux Mint and CrunchBang forum.
My girlfriend's Vaio laptop was running Vista. It was so slow that that I convinced her to give a try to Linux. I am myself a OSX user but I used to be a Linux user until I replace my ageing PC with an imac 9 month ago. I got a dual boot on my Imac but to be honest OSX is so good that I hardly boot on Linux anymore (truth is that I use a lot of apple hardware and Linux cant compete with such proprietary hardware (streaming to apple tv ....)). Ok now back to the Vaio .... I always have been a huge fan of Debian so when I decided last week to install a debian on the Vaio I have been testing the following distrib on Virtual Box on my Imac ( Crunchbang, LMDE and Debian Live CD with firmware). Here are my own 0.02$ pro and cons:
++ minimalistic aspect and reactivity
-- may be more difficult to get used to the interface for a new windows comer
++ LMDE various tools; great documentation; well organized forum.
-- rolling based on testing. Even if Debian testing is really stable (even more under LM control) I do not want her to face a crash ... I know that any bug would be resolved fairly quick but I do want her to have a nice first linux experience.
Debian with firmware:
== LMDE and CB are just debian well configured. Same reactivity ... so I did not see a real interest in installing the base ...
As I was not able to make my ming I decided this we to let her try both with LiveCD on her laptop ... LMDE refused to boot !! Actually just after the boot I had the first line Linux iso .... and then nothing more just a black screen. I tried 5 times same results. I tried the dvd on my Imac and boot was successful on it but I couldnt make it boot on the Vaio SR-31M.
I then tried CB, boot was succesfull and installation was flawless. All hardare recognized out of the box (including wifi), the only thing I forgot to try was the integrated webcam. CB is amazingly fast and openbox is perfectly configured (I am loving it).
All this to say a big thanks to all the Linux developer :
- debian for making such a fantastic linux base distribution.
- Ubuntu for their huge contribution to hardware compatibility (even if I dont like the distrib)
- both LMDE and CB for those great distribution