Choosing a Distro
It's great to see a topic with such specific information, rather than people just saying their choice distro is the best. Anyway. I'm kind of a noob. I've actually been using linux and unix for over 15 years but I've never spent enough time to learn it as well as I would like. I'd like to change that and I have been going through distros and systematically tossing them out as I find things I don't like.
Currently I can't stand Ubuntu or it's derivatives, I would honestly rather use windows. My favorites have been Gentoo, and Fedora. The first linux system I used was Redhat so I'm comfortable with Fedora, but 14 runs so slow, and nobody seems to know why. I like gentoo a lot as well and the lengthy installs were a great learning tool, however It apparently has known bugs with both Nvidia drivers and certain cards causing X to crash on exit as well as bugs with madwifi drivers.
So here's what I'm looking for, and I would really appreciate any input.
I want a stable OS that has an active community, I don't want a noob OS, I like putting some time in to installations and actually learning what I'm doing. That being said, my programming skills are mediocre, I don't much have much experience in development. I can extrapolate while following tutorials, and I honestly have a pretty good understanding of what I'm doing, but when it comes to re-coding drivers I am lost.
I have a Sony laptop with Nvidia 310m and an Atheros 9285 network card. I'm looking for OS's that will allow me to use respective nvidia and madwifi drivers without too much hassle.
So basicly, what is the most hardware friendly OS that doesn't think for me?