First off, thanks everyone for all the responses!
Freedom, I am like you. Windows 8 really disappointed me. I did not want the "Metro/Modern" desktop. The Windows 8 apps are just not suitable for the desktop. Switching back and forth pretty much broke my concentration, and in order to use anything I was forced to buy yet more software from Stardock. That improved my experience some but was still too cumbersome installing/tweaking--installing/tweaking--installing tweaking... you get my drift.
Golbeze, I am not a gamer, however, I understand that is one reason why many people have stuck with Windows. From what I understand, there is much hope for gaming on Linux.
I also used Ubuntu in the past but the Unity thing was so horrible for me that I went back to Windows! (until now, of course).
Dngrsone, exactly. I tried Ubuntu with Plasma Desktop in December and never looked back. I also broke things in Gnome 3. I guess eventually I'll try it out again, maybe run in on another system and see how long I last. And for the multiple desktops...YES! In Windows, I had to install Dexpot and again, too much tweaking and hassles.
Night Wing, partitioning is something I haven't quite got down pat yet. Right now I have Linux Mint, Windows 8, elementaryos, and Zorin. I managed to get everything working just by luck I guess.
Zalbor and mintybits, I did the same and totally agree.
RacerBG, my main reason for returning to Linux was a nasty browser hijacker I got sometime around the end of November. After half a day of reconfiguring everything, I threw in the towel and said "Give me Linux!"
eanfrid, I'm a mom who enjoys tinkering around with computers. Trying hard to sway my kids in the direction of Linux. I hate to insert another platform here but they use Android (phones). I've got an Android tablet that I would love run some version of Linux on but I'm too afraid to try. Anyhow, If the kids can use Android, they can use Linux. Maybe someday I'll succeed.
I think your mother is going to love Linux. I'm a mom and I sure do!
Previous1, Ubuntu 12.04 worked fairly well for a while but Unity really gets in the way.
Thanks again everyone!