I last tried linux in 2004 but the support was not what I needed. I now find the support much better.
I'm happy with Lubuntu which I installed a couple of months ago after a trial of Windows7 slowed down my system. I installed from a USB stick on old Toshiba Laptop Tecra A5 1.73 GHz Intel Pentium M, 760 GB RAM 60 GB hard drive, 1,280x768 native resolution.
HOWEVER, I've added my own packages. Not with Synaptic (which I couldn't make work reliably) but with the terminal. I should say that I love Synaptic as a way of searching for software and info about software which I then install with the terminal.
After a bit of mucking around I've settled on:
leafpad (brilliant little text editor for HUGE text files)
gnumeric for spreadsheet
libreoffice-writer (closer to Microsoft word functionality and much better than abiword)
ibus-pinyin for chinese (though it needed tweaking)
The file manager (PCManFM 0.9.9) is awful and slow (sorry guys). So I've just installed gnome-commander after trying Nautilus and it being slow (I have a massive number of files).
Sylpheed was awful too. So I installed thunderbird (but despite lots of effort I haven't been able to retrieve all my emails which Slypheed backed up)
NOW my problem is to make a backup image of my system onto a USB stick. I haven't got around to figuring out how to do that.