I'm pretty worthless on hardware, but, at least, I know my software!
So I'll give you some ideas on software, but don't blaim me if your hardware can't handle it, ok?
Ubuntu is a very easy dist, you don't have to choose many difficult settings when installing and I bet you'll never ever have to use anything than a good-looking GUI.
If you want more of a challange, you maybe want to check one of these dists:http://www.debian.org
<-- A dist just like many others, maybe a little more difficult.http://www.gentoo.org
<-- Has the potential to become anything you want it to be, a lot of "build-it-yourself", but you'll get a dist perfect for you!http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/
<-- It is what it says, build it yourself.. ..from scratch! (NB: This is not an actual dist, much more like a handbook of how to build it yourself. )
Hacking and programming, ey?http://damnvulnerablelinux.org/
is a website where you can download a dist wich teaches a lot
about security, but make sure you don't make the mistake to install it! It's an LiveCD. (It seems they just got their website relaunched.. ..maybe not so much info 'bout it right now..)
There is lot of dists out there, I'm sure one of them will be just perfect for you!