Sorry for your pain especially when it did work.
I've spent so much time with LM13 to make it usable with my daily job (basic office tasks). I've even had to buy another laptop to reinstall Windows7 to be able to do 50% fo my job wich could not be done with Linux( mainly scanning, drivers compatibility, cell phone transfers, ...).
No need for a complete different system and dual boot was the option for me.
Yep that is specifically the reason I setup a dual boot with Win7. Since my clients & cash comes first. They have a right to continue to get results from my photography. And aren't concern if my linux fails to deliver.
Anyone serious about replacing OS is fine but only after extensive testing alongside or at least a backup Windows partition for situations like these. As 10%-20% of the time I still need Windows. And that is with everything linux working as it should.
But a lot has to do with hardware combinations. As I have Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon & KDE 14 both with backports enabled for latest and both versions are still problem free on my setup and no problems with SD cards. And can switch to either on the fly as have those partitions backed up to external usb drive. So 20 mins and can be running Cinnamon or KDE with my Win7 there if I need it. Bork my Win7 then also 20 mins later back up and running.
Wish I could offer a solution and help you get back up. But still a newbie to linux.