Why not simply download and burn the iso to a CD and then run it "Live" from the CD.
This will tell you what (if any) problems you are likely to face with hardware and give you a feel for the distro.
If you want a more Windows like experience, try Kubuntu.
You can try any amount of mainstream distros in this way, until you find one you like.
Burning the distro is where a lot of people come unstuck. I don't know if you're familiar with the process, but I wrote this for such occasions and hopefully, it will help: click here