Here's a question I've pondered recently. Supposing there was someone you knew who was looking to buy a new desktop PC and money wasn't a problem, so they could afford either a decent PC with Windows 7 Ultimate or a Mac with the latest OSX if they felt like it. How would you make the case for Vector (or any other version of Linux) to them?
I wouldn't make a case for "instead of." I'd suggest they set up a dual boot with Win 7 (I have an intense dislike for Apple). I'd suggest they give VL a good try especially for easy things like the Internet, where using Linux is much more pleasant. I'd suggest installing multi-platform applications like OpenOffce, SoftMaker Office, Gimp, Opera, Firefox, and Inkscape so that they cut the learning curve in half. A dual-boot sets up easily and enables the user to have a "safety net" of Windows for the Windows programs that they feel they must have.
I don't like evangelism of any kind, including Linux evangelism, and feel that Linux sells itself if the user is open to it. For a new user, I'd offer to install Linux and get everything set up. Once the system is configured, Linux is not at all hard to use, just different in some ways. Again, if the user has an open mind, it's not hard to manage Linux. If the user is reluctant, Linux will be resisted and most likely rejected. Many people do not like to learn anything new when it comes to computers.
I've always had dual boots on all my computers. I use VL far more often than any Windows, but sometimes I can't do something in Linux that I can do in Windows (I've just gone through that scenario for a holidy project I do each year. I'm *hoping* I can do it in Linux next year.).
Windows 7 is very nice and I like it better than earlier versions of Windows. But there's no chance that I'd switch from VL 6 Standard as my main OS.
Also, I wouldn't suggest they get Win 7 Ultimate, which costs a lot more for not much of use to most users. Home Premium is the version to get unless you need to join a domain or need 6 to 10 machines networked and active at the same time (5 is the limit for Home Premium). I would also suggest they get the 32-bit version of Win 7 rather than 64-bit unless they know they need to use more than 4 gigs of RAM, not just that it sounds like a nice idea in theory. With Win 7 32-bit their hardware is much more likely to work, so unless they know there are Win 7 or Vista 64 drivers for their hardware, they are better off with win 7 32 unless they don't mind getting replacements. 16-bit applications will not install or run under Win 7 64, including 32-bit applications that have 16-bit installers (yes, there are some). If they have some 16-bit oldies but goodies they will want to run, they'd have to install a virtual machine like VirtualBox or Microsoft Virtual PC and install an earlier Windows in the vm and install the 16-bit apps there.
I have Win 7 Home Premium 32-bit installed on my Athlon 64 desktop listed in my sig. I bought it when it was on presale for $50 US last summer, figuring it would never be that cheap again. I have a dual boot with Win XP--actually, a quad boot as I also have VL 6 Deluxe and VL 6 Light on that computer. The Win 7 DVD offers both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions and I first installed Win 7 64. However, I couldn't sync my Sony Clie PDA with Palm Desktop because there is no 64-bit pseudo-SCSI driver for syncing, and that's a big loss for me. I also found that I have a few 16-bit programs I don't want to give up and I'd rather not have to set up a virtual machine for them. Since my motherboard does not support more than 4 gigs of RAM, I couldn't see that I'd gain many advantages from using Win 7 64--to say nothing of the fact that I don't have any 64-bit applications and I don't plan to buy any, given that I don't use Windows often. I've been quite happy with Win 7 on the infrequent occasions I've used it. Oh--I hadn't yet activated Win 7 64 when I removed it, so installing Win 7 32 presented no problems.