My first experience with linux was in 1997 when I've tried SlackWare linux 5.0. I remember how I've installed it and look like a reindeer on black screen waiting for the interface, but see nothing, only black screen and #root with blinking cursor. Well… I continued to use Windows NT 4.0 server and silently thinking about linuxzzzz guys as masochists stacked in DOS era. Until bad stuff happened. The project I appeared to be involved in requested from me to create file server for my Linguistics University library with 10 500 000 small TXT files obtained from metropolitan. Having quite fast SCSI in RAID-5 devices I couldn't realize why the performance is so slow. Another fact that this library set could contains up to 60 sub sub sub folder in depth with different languages folders names and up to 13000 thousands files per folder, by which smart gurus explained me that NTFS file system will not cope with it.
That is the story how I moved to Linux. My first Linux was Debian with EXT3 file system which really eased the described above situation. Since that time I've tried almost all major distribution and finally found my favorite CentOS. At present moment I can gradate the linux distribution by my preference as follow: 1) CentOS; 2) Debian; 3) Ubuntu; and as it is not a Linux… FreeBSD.
Mostly I will try to share my knowledges about Web server solutions, but nothing about using it as a desktop environment. I still prefer windows for this purpose. Hope that this will be useful and helpful for you.