choosing a linux distro is like choosing an icecream flavor. much like baskin robbins, there are many flavors to choose from, but you can't tell if you'll like it unless you try them. once you've tried them you'll know if it fits your taste buds or not. you'll have to choose within your linux knowledge and then choose a distro that has what you need. then move on from there.
i've tried xfce, kde, and gnome, but i find myself always going back to a debian based gnome distro (ubuntu). zegenie Studios Linux Distribution Chooser
this is a link to a very basic test to help you choose a linux distro that is right for you. DistroWatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD.
this is a link to the latest distro releases out there.
at the very least, you'll see just how much you can customize a linux desktop to whatever your imagination can think up.
Dreamlinux, pclinuxos and linux mint are just a few that works very well with linux beginners. ubuntu is more of a in-between transition from beginner to intermediate....imo.