For those trying dists, if you quite like Mint then try Lubuntu as well. They are both fast and minimalist and being Ubuntu/deb based it is very easy to install stuff.
Two advices for newbies setting up a system.
1. Partition your system with a boot partition (eg 125MB), swap partition (eg 8GB), / partition (eg 20GB), /home (the rest) so you can change Linuxes by just telling the new install to reformat the / and install there.
2. Keep a text file with all the info you need to setup the system next time, eg:
# Install Samba, Samba Server configuration Tool
apt-get --yes --quiet install samba samba-common system-config-samba
# Install Application Configuration Editor, LIBREOFFICE, RHYTHMBOX, TCL and WISH, Gdebi command line
apt-get --yes --quiet install gconf-editor libreoffice rhythmbox tk8.5 gdebi-core