Here is my 2cents
Well I highly recommend for you to use the i686 version. If you have a AMD chipstet... make sure that you get the correct version. I suggest that you don't get Ubuntu OR Debian :P. I recommend Gentoo. Now before you freak out... get a running linux system and then spen you're time installing gentoo from stage 1. Why do i recommend this? Its because it will get you more in touch with linux and after you successfully install it you're knowledge of linux would have
increased dramatically.... well thats all.