Hey all, been using Mint since Barbara with a custom DSDT to get sound working but now Ubuntu has done something funny with the kernel rendering my lappy soundless. (Bug #136469 on Ubuntu). So while I wait for the next release (I briefly tried the fix on Daryna - A wonderful Distro, but no sound was killer) I thought I'd try out a few other distros that were aimed at the nOOb (PClinuxOS 2007, openSUSE 10.3) but found Mandriva to be the most complete and easiest to get my head around.
The thing that did it for me right away was sound when I started up the live CD. No DSDT modification needed. This is the 1st distro I've tried that had native support for sound on my laptop. Another winner was a composited desktop, using nvidia drivers on the live CD. Because I was only looking briefly while I was on a break from Daryna 1st impressions were everything and this won me over. Looking deeper I had to install a few extra things to get functionality close to Mint but as my 1st experience with an .rpm based distro and KDE, Mandriva was very nice to me. After using Daryna I prefer Gnome 2.20 and Synaptic and all the Minty extras but overall I'm very impressed with this and I think will use it as my main until the Ubuntu team fix the bug (here's hoping).