distros? what distros? My first Linux was the original tarball, using tools I had cross-compiled from Minix. I was also the Atari ST Minix and GCC maintainer at the time (1992 timeframe).
OK, my first actual distro was SuSE 5.1; the SuSE guys sent it to me as a gift. Apparently they were making a point of sending free subscriptions to major Linux contributors. I kept up with them thru OpenSuSE 10. I'm now using Debian on my web host, and Ubuntu on my laptops. I've found that I like aptitude a lot better than yast as a package management interface...
I know it was Suse, and 8.0 sounds familiar. This was about 2002 or 2003, a good friend of mine got me hooked on computers by helping me assemble my first desktop machine from parts (he gave me the motherboard and processor as my wedding present, my wife was just thrilled). He was using Suse at the time, and I had plenty of hard drive space, so I put Suse on a partition alongside Windows.
Now I've migrated to Gentoo, I still dual-boot with Windows on one machine but I only use it to play games. I will soon be rebuilding my file server and I plan to switch that machine to Ubuntu server edition.
My first distro was Fedora Core 3. Found it in a magazine and my curiousity grew. Unforuntately my dialup drivers never worked on it and it was back to Windows till I switched to cable. Then I distrohopped and I'm now happy with Arch Linux.
Back when G4Tv was TechTv Kevin Rose recommended on the Screensavers the livecd distro of Knoppix at the time i was aware of Redhat and its distro but the amount of cds needed when compared to knoppix it was no contest.
Knoppix was the first linux distro i ever used.
Months Later Patrick Norton would talk about and recommend a new distro he had ran across one with a live cd and an install cd that was shipped to you for free or you could download and burn.
This distro he recommended and talked about was Ubuntu back in its 4.10/5.04 days
My first distro was Mandrake 9.1 (now known as Mandriva) I believe, sometime in 2003. I've used just about every major distribution, Arch, Gentoo, Fedora, Ubuntu, Slackware, and a few others. Right now I'm on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty, and I'm fairly happy with it. Except for running Dosbox, I run into Pulseaudio problems then. Mostly stuttering when Dosbox needs midi.
Lately I've been eyeballing Slackware 13 (coming soon), its the first Slackware release to have an official x86_64 version. I've thought about trying Fedora 11 lately as well, but then I remembered that it also has Pulseaudio and probably more bugs than Ubuntu 9.04 with its bleeding edge mentality.
So I'd say right now, I don't have a distro of choice, I've yet to find it, Linux is Linux to me. About Pulseaudio though, I don't have very many problems with it, only with Dosbox. Might not even be a problem with Pulseaudio, might be a Dosbox problem.
So in the future I may be running Slackware again, I loved it when I used it before. Just with my new-ish machine and the state of 64-bit on Linux, I really want 64-bit, along with stability and just a solid system. Ubuntu doesn't grant me one thing, solid, but it does give me a great package system and the rest.
In the end, its either Ubuntu or Slackware for me. The conclusion will come soon I think .