Lol, well these msg boards are AMAZING when it comes to support. I've been using Mint since last year and I was blown away by the speed of response and help I received when starting out. So stick with it, it's worth the trouble =]
Couple of notes: if you are trying to get the fastest possible desktop with the easiest installation, I'd go with Mint 13 Xfce. Mint 13 is based off the 12.04 LTS (Long Term Support) of Ubuntu and it'll be the most "stable" for you. Xfce is one of the desktop environments that the Mint team package up for you to download, and imo is the most hardware friendly of the main editions (Cinnomon, MATE, KDE). Mint 14 is based off 12.10 and will offer the newest features, but can sometimes take more tweeking to get it right. In the end it's up to you obviously, but you can actually run the Live iso on your PC to test the functionality of the environment of each of the desktop version which is pretty cool.
Let me know
Linux: Mint 17.3 Rosa Cinnamon 64-Bit
Box 1: Intel Core 2 Quad | 8gb RAM | 500gb WD 7200rpm | nVidia Geforce GTS250
Box 2: Intel Core i3-3240 | 4gb RAM | 1tb WD 7200rpm | AMD/ATI Radeon HD 4550