Well anyone who has read my blog know I built a computer for my mom last week, well she wanted to try Linux or as she put it anything BUT microsoft, so after some research and downloads I installed Mandriva, I started out with Ubuntu but there is an issue with XFX motherboards and sata drives not showing up with it, so after about 3 attempts with Ubuntu and different Bios setting I went strictly with Mandriva, Installed first attempt without a hitch. After fine tuning it and such I decided to replace my Ubuntu with it, I have been using Ubuntu for about three years now and I am very comfortable with it. I do like the Mandriva a little better I think. I think it would be an ideal OS for a new user to the world of open source since it basically updates itself and it auto detected all hardware on both installs without a hitch.
One thing I have noticed over the last few years that I have been using Linux is that its become reasonably Bug Free. My laptop still has XP on it I seldom use it for that reason alone, however I think I see more Bugs on that than I do on recent versions of Linux. I know when I first used Red Hat years ago It had compatibility issues and just plain acted buggy once in a while, but once you cleared all that up it was an awesome operating system. But every time manufacturers upgrade hardware and change things it can change the software requirements possibly requiring a software patch, or rewritten code.
Which leads me to this, Mandriva has a hardware detection GUI under configure my desktop that really makes things simple, It even detected my win TV card.