Hello guys. I've been using Windows from a long time, but since a few months I started to use Linux too (and I won't regret it!).
The problem is that... there is too many things! Too many graphical interfaces, desktop managers, file managers... Well, too many of all.
Obviously, it allows us to choice what is best, but I don't want to try everything! I was using Ubuntu 10.10, updated to 11.04 and hated it. Unity sucks. Then I found Elementary OS, which was almost perfect, but I had some problems with it. So, I just don't know what to do.
I want a distro that is nice-looking, great interface, but that is not so complicated (I have Windows for this).
It really doesn't matter. You can run one desktop, and still run applications built for others, such as KDE apps on Gnome, Gnome apps of XFCE, etc. You can try most of the with live CD/DVD distributions without installing them, to find one that you are most comfortable with. I have used Motif, KDE, Gnome, TWM, XFCE, and others though currently I am running Gnome (with a bunch of KDE applications as well) on Scientific Linux 6 (a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6) that I am pretty happy with. You will always have issues - nothing is perfect. That's why I suggest you try a bunch of live DVD's to see what you like best. Burn the appropriate ISO images to a DVD-RW so you can reuse it with different distributions as you go.
The point is just that: I don't want to waste my time downloading every single 'well known' distro and tying them all. I'm very familiar with Ubuntu, I just hated the new version. I know that I can just change, but it doesn't seems 'right', you know? I want something that works 'out of the box', so I just install and start using it, with no need to change lots of things (apps are ok).
I also look for what the distro is mainly for. Doesn't make sense to me to have a distro that is targetted to servers since I'm a home user. This leaves me with narrow choices, which I think that is Ubuntu, Mint, Elementary (maybe the problem was me lol) and I can't remember any else more now.
Well, I personally think that Ubuntu peaked at 9.04 and has gone downhill since... :-) Right now I am using Scientific Linux 6 (a clone of RHEL 6 supported by Fermi National Laboratory and CERN) and will be testing 6.1 soon. I have a few (very few) quibbles with it, but for the most part I have been happy using it, and it supports a lot of hardware that older versions of RHEL/CentOS/SL did not. Bear in mind that over the past number of years I have used (actively) Gentoo, Ubuntu, Fedora, RHEL (SL, CentOS), Suse, Debian, Mepis, and other distributions of Linux. None are perfect, but they all share one characteristic - you can tailor/tune all of them to behave as you want. That is not to say it doesn't take some time/work/effort to accomplish that, but it is certainly possible to do so.
By its name seems that is 'scientific' lol Probably have lots of tools that I'll not use. Also, I didn't find any screenshot of it on the official site, can you point me an actual screen? I know that Google finds for me, but a fresh one is kinda hard to find =)
If you liked Ubuntu 10.10 with Gnome 2 and you wanted to go back to it, you could use the 'classic' mode instead of unity in 11.04. At the 11.04 login screen, you can change the WM/Session type to 'classic' and when you log in it gives you the familiar Gnome 2 interface that you are already used to.
Otherwise, Mint might be a good distro to try. It's based on Ubuntu and is aimed at people who are new to Linux. The latest version is based on Ubuntu 11.04, but the Mint developers have stuck with Gnome 2 as an interface, they're not using Unity at all!
Mint also comes pre-installed with multimedia codecs for proprietary formats (Mp3, Mp4 etc) plus the flash plugin for the browser. So Audio, video and flash works out of the box, with no need to install additional packages. It also features a custom menu system too, which looks kinda similar to the windows start menu or the classic KDE start menu.
As I said, it's aimed at beginners and is easy to get started with. Being Ubuntu based, it has great hardware support, plus it includes a lot of extras in it's default install that many other distros do not include in theirs. Personally it's not my cup of tea, but it might be perfect for you!