I'm a real newbie at linux but did try Mandrake 8.1 before I tried RedHat 7.3

Both were as easy as the other to install (both in a dual boot scenario)

RedHat seems to use a heck of a lot of space, but I think that's coz it has KDE3 (which is great).

I had trouble loading programmes with Mandrake, but that could well have been operator error ;^)

I believe that Mandrake (for some reason) uses a non-standard file system that makes it a bit more difficult to load programmes, but you need a non-newbie to really advise.

NOTE: I have never used ME and therefore my comments re installation make be different for you - I've got 98SE