The best kind for a linux noob would probably be ubuntu. Pretty much anything you need has a gui version and the community is very noob-friendly. You can
get games to work - but I would suggest keeping a small (~30gig) windows partition for gaming. You have plenty of storage space so a windows partition shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Hardware wise you're probably going to have a headache. ATi has horrible linux drivers and creative refuses to release even a horrible x-fi driver. They haven't given us a thing for the past 2(?) years and have no plans to in the future
. If you're wireless that may (depending on your adapter) be a whole other load of BS to deal with.
Don't let that scare you off, though. Once you set up your hardware once it will be a cinch (though possible a long cinch) to do should you reinstall/mess with other distros. If you get beryl running on your ATi card you will also see what eye-candy really means
. Linux is great, but not for everybody. You may not end up switching, but you should definitely give it a try.