I still don't have permission to save files on my Hard Drive (shouldn't this be default?)
Default? No way. You can save files all you like in your home directory. But anywhere else you are prevented unless you do so as root, or root has given your user permission to do so. This is very safe practice. Linux/Unix are designed for multiuser. It trys very hard to prevent one user from making a mistake that takes down the system.
Linux assumes that root knows what he/she is doing. Root is God according to Linux. Root can delete every single file, including system files with one command and Linux won't complain or ask questions. Giving a user that kind of power is a bit scary don't you think?
Give Linux a chance. If Linux was the first operating system you had ever used, it would be a piece of cake. Retraining your brain to compute differently then you have for all your computing life is a bit confusing at first. But you honestly will agree that you can be productive and computing makes more sense.
I do have to agree with you that Linux can be frustrating, challenging or even impossible when it comes to running hardware. It's still a windows world, it's getting a bit better, but it's rare that hardware manufactures create drivers that run on Linux. It's up to the Linux users that have a interest in writing drivers, to do it for themselves and release it.
So hang on to your VL install. Run Windows while pressed for time and need to be productive in a comfortable enviorment. But keep dabbling with VL or whatever flavor of Linux that works for you. You'll find yourself becoming less MS dependent, and possibly even MS free. You'll be surprised to know that many hard core Linux users aren't completely MS free as they just can not live without certain applications that only run with Windows.
Good luck, have fun and ask ton's of questions. We were all in your shoes at one time