I'm new to Linux these last two months and I'm a novice computer user (Windows). During the last two months I've tried the latest releases of PCBSD, Ubuntu and fedora and all were pretty good. However, I didn't like the Unity desktop of Ubuntu and fedora had some periodic crashes that I didn't experience with PCBSD and Ubuntu. fedora didn't support playback of commercial DVDs out of the box and I was unable to get it to work. Linux Mint had none of those difficulties and the Mate desktop is great. I got the printer for my Brother MFC-8860DN machine working without difficulty by experimenting with several of the preinstalled CUPS Brothers drivers until it worked correctly. The only thing I can't do with LinuxMint (so far) that I can with Windows is use the scan capability of my Brother MFC-8860. The Brother Support web page does offer linux drivers for scan but they were not completely clear to me. I didn't want to ruin anthing with root privileges until I did some more reading.
The only difficulty I had with LinuxMint that I didn't have with PCBSD, Ubuntu and fedora was during installation. I did not want to put Windows and Linux on the same hard drive; hard drive failure kills both. I installed a second hard drive and use the Intel boot menu at computer startup to choose which hard drive to boot from. During installation PCBSD, Ubuntu and fedora all saw the second hard drive and offered the option for a default install on that drive; LinuxMint did not. LinuxMint offered to install along side Windows or overwrite windows but not to install on the second drive (which at the time contained fedora). The third option LinuxMint offered was to do everything myself and unfortunately the user's guide didn't help. I finally figured out that I needed to create partitions for /boot, /, swap, and /home and found some general linux guidance about the recommended sizes of those partitions. Not sure I made the best choices or used the best patition types for each, but the installation proceeded and everything worked without a hitch. No crashes, boots fast, and the applications work great.