Re: Which flavor folks?
Well, I've been using Debian for about 15 years, and installed it probably 50 times or more...
...and more often than not, I've had to manually fix something that the install messed up, major or minor, including cases where the new OS wouldn't boot.
Most recently, about a month ago, I totally failed to get the Debian installer to accept the partitioning I wanted, and I had to go back and boot off a Knoppix CD and set it up before trying to install Debian again. (Note that this was probably me not understanding the options the installer was offering me, but if I didn't get it, I doubt the novice would.)
For myself, I'm pretty happy to keep using Debian, but I don't think I'd recommend it to someone with no Linux or Unix experience. (I wouldn't recommend Ubuntu to anyone.)