//UPDATE: I would like to amend this sudo review by saying that I still recommend Ubuntu, HOWEVER I have had allot of frustration with the latest release so I would also recommend either using the stable LTS release or maybe trying SUSE or maybe MEPIS.
I would like to officially recommend my new favorite Linux distro, Ubuntu. I have been for a long time now a Linux noob. And as a noob I can say that Ubuntu is the first I have used with out getting too frustrated and thought I could definitely use as a WinXP replacement. First off installing Ubuntu us painless with its graphical installer that most popular desktop linux's have. One thing that has always been a selling point for Linux is speed even on older machines, however my last favorite was Fedora core but for some reason it always seemed to be too big and kinda slow when compared to other Linux and even a fresh WinXP install. Ubuntu gets a gold star in the speed department from me. Another selling point is its package install/update system. One thing that is really easy partly because of Ubuntu becoming so popular is that allot of software that you would like to install is already in the package manager. All you have to do is check a box next to the software you want and it will get loaded. It's easy to be able to get non supported and non open source software too that will allow you to play mp3s, DVDs and that sort of thing. Pretty much everything that you might be wondering how to do has already been done and documented step by step in Ubuntu's forums. Go ahead, download and see for yourself.
You can get Ubuntu in x86 and x64 here.
It comes standard with Gnome but there are two other Ubuntu projects that come with KDE and XFCE as the default GUI if you prefer. Also there is an educational version here.