I built a cutting edge system more than a year ago. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1927626
I spent a weekend trying to install Linux (details in that post). I have used Linux for more than 10 years and used it regually at work and am quite cofortable with emacs, sed, bash scripting, and gcc. But one waisted weekend and I did the unthinkable: I bought windows 7 and it installed with no problems.
For the last year I occasionally checked out new Linux edtions hoping they would install on my desktop system. Finally, Ubuntu 13.04 booted! Of course, it had problems with my GTX 590 so I had to use nomodeset but after that the installer at least ran. I installed it along windows7 and booted to a blinking cursor. No GRUB, just a black screen with a blinking cursor. No windows either. In a fit of anger I installed Ubuntu 13.04 over windows hoping it would fix the blinking cursor. Of course it did not. So then I spend Saturday and Sunday trying to figure out why.
I wasted a lot of time just trying to write ISO images to USB in linux. The dd command never produced a bootable USB device. Unetbootin works for most of them but not for Ubuntu 13.04. I installed it on Windows with the Universal USB installer but of course I don't have a Windows install anymore so that's no use. But Mint, Manjaro,...all give the blinking cursor. The main problem I'm having I think is related to having UEFI and a SSD only system. I'm too burnt out to go into details but probably these two links have the info I need
I started off wanting to install the Intel C++ compiler for Linux along with MKL to compare some of my code with GCC and Visual Studio and instead I end up with blinking cursor. I think I'll install Windows7 again and go back to Visual Studio and go back to spending my weekends doing things more enjoyable.