I am no big linux expert....yet....
But if you want to try out some easy linux distros try the following...
- opensuse (free, nice and easy)
- ubuntulinux (free, small and easy)
- kubuntu (same as ubuntu but uses KDE)
- linspire (bout 50 usd, dead easy, so to speak!)
- Mandriva discovery (bout 30 usd, very simple)
Try a few of these, have time for them, trust me you will get there in the end, don't give up.
Dual booting dosn't seem easy but a lot of these versions of linux will do it for you as well as hard drive partitioning. Enjoy