It was much worse in the past though video drivers are still an area that Linux based OS (BSD et all non-win32/osX that is) should be commended on since all the work is generally through reverse engineering. Outside of video and wifi, I've not seen any issues in a long time and those two are getting better too. I flopped back and forth for years happily but I love exploring different OS rather than simply running things on top of a specific platform.
Anyhow, play with some liveCD to see what distro works best for you if your really interested. I'm partial to Mandriva which will give you a very nice "control panel" in the GUI. I run the livdCD seamlessly on my Thinkpad T60 including ATI video and the wifi. And not a single thing I've had to do by command prompt (except by loving choice of course). You might also try Kubuntu and Ubuntu distrobutions on liveCD.. PCLinuxOS seems a favourite of others also.
The key is to realize that Linux is the kernel not a single OS. Linux based OS are many different distrobutions made from the same lego pieces; each distrobution has different values and goals resulting in very differetn but similar operating systems.
If video is your biggest issue then I'd hazzard a guess that it's Games your realy after and in that regard; keep a windows partition to run the latest games and a Linux distro dual boot for everything else.
- The Windows boot can be tuned for your specific games instead of all generall tasks you through at it.
- The Linux boot can be used for everything it does well and doesn't really need the 3D support unless you just can't possibly live without eye-candy adding no additional function to your desktop.
In my case I have the following outstanding functions but all else has been replaced under my Mandriva boot:
- Games.. Windowes has lesser broken ATI drivers and first pick of the native game support.
- Syncing PalmOS too Outlook too Cellphone.. discontinued for the moment since the motorola V3 cell sync software sucks badly.
- Editing office files from years of Windows at home and Windows at work.. now done under a VM guest Windows running windowed on the Mandriva host OS thanks to VMware.
- Last, supporting IE so I can admin my dd-wrt router since, for some ungodly reason, the dd-wrt developers build the web interface to only support IE (that may change in later v24 release candidates)...This is again done exlusively under the win32 VM.
Take your time and replace Windows functions with Linux functions as you get comfortable. If your changing to be cool like everyone else then don't.. if your interested in exploring a different OS or moving to a Linux based OS for your own reasons then persevere; there's no loss, even if it's only learning about how a computer actually works.
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