Thanks for your reply. However, I am a little puzzled that you seem to imply that Linux Mint 14 worked fine, because that is the issue here - that the new LTS does not work fine, but various things have been changed since Linux Mint 9 including of course the move away from Gnome, resulting in failures. I repeat; Linux Mint 9 was probably the best Linux version ever produced; everything works out of the box including setting up wireless cards. Linux MInt 13 and subsequent versions do not, and wireless cards are the key example; also there are other problems such as with Root access being denied on the previous basis in version 9. For some reason the support for Linux MInt 9 has not yet stopped, so go back to version 9.
I cannot agree though with your statements concerning Windoze. I had the misfortune to use Windoze professionally through many years and it was nothing but continual trouble. The main weakness is that the atittude of MS has always been never to fix the problems in any version, but to generate a supposed new version which just moves the GUI around, changes the icons, introduces new functionality and avoids facing and fixing the bugs! It then just becomes Bloatware which still never works reliably. I do agree however that Windoze in general does not have the problem with wireless cards which many Linux versions have (and now Mint has), but to be fair that is largely due to manufacturer's failure to provide Linux drivers. I do agree entirely with your comment regarding forums and duff advice. That is largely due to the failure of forum administrators to determine the technical qualifications of those posting supposed solutions. Cowboys can only offer Cowboy advice, just as Cowboy contractors will give you only grief and sequester your money!
Don't be discouraged with Linux. It is a far better and more secure OS than Windoze will ever be, because it is based on Unix, and it is less expensive. Linux MInt 9 was probably the best Linux so far; but even if they do not fix the present problems and go back to the standards which exemplfied Linux MInt 9, that does not write off all Linux flavours. There are still others like PClinuxOS which is now available in a 64 bit version also and works straight from the box with all codecs, and of course there is BSD based on Unix, although that is more problematic and does not have well-designed GUI. So even with the present problems with MInt, if they do not fix them look around and find another Linux version rather than reverting to Windoze.