God, I hate Windows boxen.
I admin all day, every day and have done so for 17 years.
I use OpenSUSE 11.4 w\Xfce 4.8.1 as my Preferred Desktop Environment
What a workhorse. Holding out to the very last minute for the next
rdesktop to all my servers without any issue but I prefer scripting things.
No fancy session managers for me.
As far as "apps that have helped them be able to use linux instead of windows"? Yes, there is at least one...ToDoList
Now I use TaskCoach
and it does my Time card.
UltraEdit is darn good software, I'd pay for it if it gedit didn't exist.
I use these: