I was a hardcore Debian user. Ran every edition they issued from "Lenny" through "Wheezy." Then I turned to the "dark side" and went with Windows 7 for a couple of years, mainly because few of the games I own, written for Windows, will run well (or at all) on Linux w/ Wine. And I'll admit that for a Microsoft OS, Windows 7 wasn't bad at all. Probably the best OS they ever released. Then came the insanity (for desktop users) of Windows 8, and I decided to come back to Linux. But I'd read a lot of good things about Mint on sites like "Distro Watch" and decided to take it for a spin.
It's been just about a week now, and I'm impressed. I tried Mint 14 with Cinnamon first, and it ran very well on my machine. Then I found out that Mint 13 had been an LTS, which I prefer since I don't normally enjoy upgrading an OS every six months or so; so I installed Mint 13 with Mate, and I'm even happier. Cinnamon was (and is, IMHO) a great DE, but there was one small, nagging issue with it that I couldn't resolve, hence the change to Mate this time around. I find the system is rock-solid and runs incredibly smoothly on my old Intel CoreDuo 3.00 Ghz CPU with GeForce GT520 video card. I also found that all the software I needed or wanted, besides what comes with the installation itself, was present in the repos and easily installable. Also, Mint feels as solid to me as Debian always did, though I'd never say the same about any edition of Ubuntu I ever tried.
Clearly, the Mint developers have done a fantastic job, and the forums are excellent here, too--without the snarkiness which is so obvious in so many other distro forums. I'd have no hesitation in recommending Mint to anyone who wants an excellent desktop OS which just plain works.