Have you tried Ubuntu yet????
I've used Suse 9/9.1 (never did like that woman), Fedora - (lovely for a day or two then falls apart) & Mandrake (most stable of all but a bit boring) and none of them comes close to Ubuntu.
Based on Debian, with Gnome 2.8 as default desktop and nigh on 14,000 packages available online.
Has a live cd so you can try without commiting yourself.