Figure I'd give a little update on my status here.
I've settled on Puppy Linux. I like it a lot. it's small, but still packs a lot. It has great hardware compatibility (pretty much everything I have worked right off the bat, without any difficult set-up, even my wireless card). I'm running Google Chrome, but Gears apparently does not work in Linux, so I will have to wait some more for Offline compatibility. I'm cool with that.
besides Chrome, I'm basically running on defaults for now. Abiword, Gnumeric. not sure if I actually want to install OpenOffice, seeing that I use Google Docs for most stuff. If I am offline, I'll use Abiword for now. I really don't do much that requires a really heavy Office Suite.
Got WINE, haven't bothered to play with it yet though. I will eventually. Having a little bit of trouble getting JavaRuntime properly installed. got Flash already.
Gotta say, I really like the Virtual Desktops. that's a pretty neat feature. yeah i know you can probably do it in Windows too, but I never knew how to, and it came default in Linux.
will post a screenshot of my desktop in a little bit.