Originally Posted by Shrak
Some of you fail to realize he said he wanted to learn. Ubuntu is spoonfeed central in the Linux world = no real learning. With Ubuntu you don't learn how to do anything in Linux. You might as well stick to Windows at that point, as it's all you're going to be doing. Installing from pre-compiled .debs or their install center, and you'll hardly ever need to use the terminal in Ubuntu.
Yes, you can go a bit more in depth with it, but that's like flying a jet to go ask your neighbor for some milk. Too much trouble than what it's worth.
While we all probably understand what you're saying I think it wasn't clear just how indepth and how fast he wanted to get things up and running. For a quick taste/intro buntu and similar are a good start because most people can then move on if they're motivated and not feel overwhelmed. If you throw someone into Gentoo, Arch, or LFS straight out then you're pretty much giving them the impression that Linux hasn't changed to be more than just the "1337's domain" where you either do things the hard way or "go back to your Windows". You can view it as bastardizing or whatever but the easy distros should exist because in the long run they help the entire community (and hinder it too no more than the rest) in getting more people which leads to more support and development.
Now, I'd never use a GUI software center unless I needed to see about adding repos or checking on several packages versions at once. In buntus the software centers (muon, kpackagekit, whatever the Gnome/Unity ones are) almost always ended up screwing up things or freezing. I don't use terminal to move files around because that's what the GUI(and the computer) is for...to make life easier. I think a hybrid between the two is the best idea as there are certain things that just work out faster/better one way over doing it the other. Linux gives you that without restraint and that's what's great about it.
So yes...I agree that if you want to "learn" Linux you should go to Gentoo and LFS but that's time, patience, and practice married with frustration until eventual satisfaction. If you want to slowly work to that then you should probably start off around Fedora or Slackware. Basically, there are certain things one should do in the terminal or know how to do (because if you ever lose xorg...like me...it helps to know how to get around in tty/etc) but since we have such great DEs like KDE, LXDE, Enlightenment and WMs (awesome and whatever others are being touted) why would you want to not use them?
Linux is what you make out of it...so choose what you like and you can go from there.
The breakdown is something like this:
buntu, mint, opensuse, and fedora as the big main easy distros
Slackware, Arch as the big middle distros
Gentoo and LFS as the hard-line "difficult" ones