Re: I've had a rather productive weekend.
I've also had a productive weekend with Mint, building a dual-boot Win 7/Mint system.
I did try Debian at first (as I was already familiar with it), but hit a few hurdles (Grub issues, then X Windows crashing on boot etc.). So tried Mint instead.
Mint installed without issue, even recognising my GTX 980 Ti, and giving me options of which drivers to install. Propitiatory ones from nVidia themselves, or an Open Source version, all in a nice little Driver window, listing pros and cons of the different options. Mint recommending the nVidia propitiatory ones, which is what I used, and installation was just a matter of a couple of clicks.
The only issue I had was my audio, which is a Creative SB card feeding some 5.1 speakers. but I was already aware of Creative's lack of Linux support, so expected this anyway. (Mint recognises the card, knows it's a Creative sound card, but no sound comes out).
But my monitor has built in speakers (not normally used), and Mint automatically configured the nVidia audio driver in the GTX 980 Ti, which let me select Displayport as my audio output, so the system still has audio, just stereo at the moment, rather than 5.1 (for now).
As a quick gaming test, I installed Steam (direct from the web site), and then installed a couple of test games, which worked without issue. (About 40% of my 178 items in my Steam library showed up as Linux compatible).
I'll keep Win 7 for now, but hopefully over time the need for Windows will diminish, I've also set up a Win 7 64bit VM within Mint itself, which seems to work fine so far.