Install VirtualBox on your Windows machine and run Linux as a VM.
I have 4 different Linux distros installed as VMs on my Win. 7 machine. My system is a little more than a year old, but the performance is fine. The response time using Firefox, Chrome plus other apps (even those installed with WINE - e.g., notepad++, etc.) is about the same (sometimes faster) than using the Windows 7 versions. I have an ACER with 3.1GHz, 4GB RAM and 1TB HD (partitioned).
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