Every technology writer who talks about Linux eventually babbles about distros and “which one is right for you”. The problem with these kinds of articles is the simple fact that a technology writer, even a really good one, can’t possibly know what’s going to work best for you. He or she can only generalize and make an educated guess at it, like “If you like to do X, Y, and Z, and you’re about this technical, you should probably be using this distro”.
Which is pretty close to what I’m about to do here, so bear with me if you’ve heard it all before. I’m going to try to avoid some of the typical buzzwords and glitter, however, and just bring it down to brass tacks.