LMDE is not based on Mint 11 or Mint 12 it is based on Debian - hence the D in the title.
It may say that it has Mint 11 features but it is most definitely not based on Mint 11 - two very different things.
In answer to your question this is an extremely bad time to be trying out LMDE for the first time as it is stuck in a timewarp and has not been updated for months. Whether this is because that the maintainers are too busy with other things or because they are waiting for gnome-shell 3.2 to be ported to debian testing is a moot point, the result is the same, until lmde is updated again it is not worth installing - unless - you intend to alter the default update sources to Debian Testing in which case it is still not that good because gnome-shell 3.2 has not been ported to debian testing (I might have said that before?). If you do want to do that be prepared for a pretty massive update probably as large as the distro itself.
Fujitsu Lifebook AH532 Laptop. Intel i5 processor, 6Gb ram, Intel HD3000 graphics, Intel Audio/wifi. Realtek RTL8111/8168B Ethernet.Ubuntu12.10 (Unity), Mint14 (Cinnamon), Manjaro (Xfce).