Similar experience to gees, having tried Red Hat about ten years ago, then Ubuntu every release from 7.04, always going back to XP. Indeed, the path is also quite close: MS-DOS, Windows 3.11, 98SE (kept this as long as possible), XP (kept this as long as possible as well), Vista - ah, the reoccuring nightmares, so I stayed with XP.
I had just recently tried Ubuntu again, then DSL, then Puppy Linux, just feeling my way through them. Linux Mint 6 had a minute in the spot light and was fantastic, then I went version 7, that was the one I stayed with. Installation time was a fraction of XP, Vista or Windows 7 (RC).
Everything with Gloria installed seamlessly, wireless and printers, while Ubuntu gave me grief with wireless. At the end of it I felt a little lost, like I'd forgotten something, partly because of the speed of the installation, then realised there was no need to enter any diabolical alpha-numeric codes or activating the software on-line.
What I found most refreshing was when the desktop appeared, everything seemed to be where I already wanted it. The menu layout is superb.
It's still dual boot, but the XP partition is only for the odd game or two, so I treat that like a console. Everything else I am doing in Linux Mint and that accounts for 95% of computer time.
Thanks for this breath of fresh air! Minty freshness!!