I find its very useful. I have a dual boot with both windows and Ubuntu. Ubuntu have live CD's you can use so you check it out BEFORE you install it. This live CD also has a partitioner so if you want to install it you create a partion and then install. It is very user friendly and much faster than windows and gets your hacking needs done. Also has a very sexy customizable user interface that you can add to with nice effects.
Here is the site to Ubuntu the latest version 8.10 but in 11 days it will be have a new release which if you look on google you can find the way to upgrade to it.
Here is a tour of what I would hopefully think you have is the desktop or laptop(which I might consider searching on google about Dual booting with laptops as they can be a bit sketchy with ubuntu and windows) versionhttp://www.ubuntu.com/products/whatisubuntu/810features/
Here is the CD image link to which you can download the live cd for 8.10http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download
Plz remember to chose your CPU architecture at the bottom.
You must burn it to a blank CD with 700MB or more to put it on there.
In order to boot from CD you must change your BIOS options and I don't know your computer type so you must google that to find out.
There is also fedora which also contains a live CD and also uses the Gnome interface.http://fedoraproject.org/get-fedora.html
Other distro's include:
and for the more advanced user
If you have any more questions then plz ask me. Hope I helped.