As a support person I think it is wise to gather some experience with other distributions to get a perspective.
I have right now 16 ISOs on a backup partition that I've tried to install.
I've had success with Mint Bianca both gnome and KDE and with Cassandra 012 and 014. I've also installed Feisty, Debian and PClinuxOS. The rest of the ISOs have been without success.
//edit//Before these I installed Mint Bea and some Ubuntu but these are now deleted//
The install has either completely failed or I've ended up in a TTY and not come any further.
Debian ends up in a TTY at the first boot after install, I tried startX - failed and tried startx and all went well. (Or is it the other way round?)
Consider a Windows user installing this as his/her first Linux, he/she would not have a clue what to do...
(and in Ubuntu recovery mode you actually use "exit" at the prompt to get on...)
The installer in Ubuntu (based distros) is also in my mind the one that is the easiest to deal with.
This is not bashing!
Only to demonstrate that there are problems out there
that we don't have (much of) in Mint.
When I get a DVD burner to work in my secondary computer (so I both can burn and boot from DVDs) I'll do some more testing.
Hardware is hardly the problem
ASUS mobo (found out it's a A7V333 )
Athlon 1700, 512 MB RAM, nVidia 440MX
125 GB disk
This is my secondary computer
My primary has a nvidia 6600 GT which is problematic so there I only have Bianca gnome
"Everything" fails on that one, unless you use safe graphics mode and for some distros even that does not work - have not tried too many on that one.