I'd also recommend Ubuntu as a good starter. Some people in the Linux community aren't big fans of it but their help forums are first rate. Everytime I've run into a hiccup I've always found the answer over there already answered.
And unless your hardware is really new or unique it usually runs without any serious issues. It doesn't always go perfect but I have run into far less hardware issues with Ubuntu than with Vista
I agree, Ubuntu is very easy to use