I have been adding more information to the pottery section of this site, so the Linux Helps have been a little neglected. To tide things over, I have put some links to other useful sites on the right of this page.
I have found the howtoforge articles on The Perfect Linux Desktop quite useful when setting up Linux systems. I have provided links to the PCLinuxOS 2007 article and to the openSUSE 11.1 article. Even if your intention is to set up another flavour of Linux altogether, these are worth reading, and may also give a sensible overview for someone who has never installed Linux before.
I have had a play with PCLinuxOS 2007, and installed it on a friend's computer some time ago. Whilst not really perfect, PCLinuxOS is not a bad place for a Linux newbie to start, and is an interesting alternative to the much publicized Ubuntu.
PCLinuxOS 2007 is getting rather dated, but I rather like the look of tinyME 2008.1, which is an offshoot of PCLinuxOS, and is more modern, as its name suggests. Using VirtualBox, I have had a brief dabble with tinyME 2008.1, and may consider installing it on my elderly computer sometime as it runs quickly and is not a resource hog.
OpenSUSE 11.1 is what I use, but I use the KDE 4.1 WindowManager, rather than Gnome. KDE 4.1 is still a little "bleeding edge" in some areas, although it is now very workable and I have grown to like most of it. The KDE 3.5 series were well tried and very stable. Fortunately it has recently been made possible to get a live CD of openSUSE 11.1 with KDE 3.5, thanks to openSUSE community member, Carlos Goncalves. This would be my pick to point a person to who wants to try a KDE version of openSUSE for the first time.