Starting off by saying that I've read through the FAQ's and any relevant help documentation, so I have a fair idea of the issues with linux and laptops with wireless. That said, I'm stuck on whether or not to take the risk and install on this laptop. It's my wife's laptop and she's recently decided she would like to use linux, specifically with KDE (that's what I have on my desktop and she enjoys using it). I don't want to discourage her from making the switch, and I'm confident she can handle daily use (just web browsing, email, word processing).

My main concern is that, with limited linux experience (been running Debian for about 6 months, can follow directions well and have a basic understanding of the filesystem and editing config files), I can get a distro up and running without taking a week to do it, and that my wife can use the wireless easily on open networks at school, coffee shops, etc. I can't wipe Windows and then leave her without a machine.

I realize the info is vague. Any opinions if it's reasonable to try, or if by some crazy chance someone else with the same laptop had success, or lack thereof? I was thinking about using a Partition Magic type utility and dual booting as a safety net, but I've heard that can cause more headaches than it's worth (my desktop is dual boot, but from separate physical disks).