I started using linux in 1999 (mandrake, slackware, debian, ubuntu); that time it was challenging: e.g., often one had to apply patches to the kernel source and recompile it. Nowadays linux became a solid, stable, and mature system. I believe that linux is almost immune to viruses; in 16 years it was only a couple of times when I suspected (but was not really sure) that my linux computer was hacked.
Debian linux tips:
I do not rely on graphics mode (X window) when configuring linux, and none of these configuration tips requires graphics. So they remain helpful even if graphics driver fails, or if you have to maintain remote linux system. Except for the wifi-switcher, all software used here is available from the standard debian linux repositories.
Good and compatible hardware: Asus, HP printers/all-in-ones, IBM/Lenovo Thinkpads.
Bad or incompatible hardware: Acer, Lenovo IdeaPad.