I'm a major fan of linux and have been using it for years. It unleashes the real power of your computer. All those gigs of cpu speed sucked up by the bloated and poorly written windoze software is set free. You can customize it to look like just about anything you want. The desk top can be configured exactly the way you want, not just the few options Bill gives you.

As far as software is concerned there are several fully featured office suites in linux that will integrate with MS documents, spreadsheets etc. Both ways.

Another thing is you don't have to worry about all the viruses that are targetted at the many vulnerabilities of MS products.

Set yourself free!! Walk towards the Penguin (official mascot of Linux). Also all those fancy special effects you see in the movies these days are done on powerful linux setups.

Several good links are:
www.redhat.com
www.linux-mandrake.com/en (this is the one I use)
www.linux.org

In the past linux was mainly a geek OS, but the new distributions of it are actually easier and faster to install than MS.

If you are a major fan of PS in the linux world the equivalent is called The Gimp and is FREE! Check out www.gimp.org

There that's a good start.

Eric