I must confess that when I started learning and testing GNU/Linux the main distributions I knew where Red Hat, Mandrake and SuSE (I don't remeber if I knew Debian existed or if it seemed too complicated to install the GUI). I didn't want to depend on an USAmerican distribution, and because of historical rivalry with France I didn't want a french distribution either. So I chose the german distribution: SuSE 7.2.
It was a pain in the ass to install any program, searching for the rpm for the program I wanted to install, that depended on another package I had to search and install, and so on. I was about to switch back to Windows but I didn't want to hear my colleages mocking at me (I was the "free software advocate" in the company), so I kept with SuSE.
That experience gave me quite confidence with the distribution and I don't remeber in what version everything seemed easier to me. I still continued testing Mandrake, Red Hat and other distributions (*BSD, for instance) once in a while but SuSE seemed to me the one with more programs preinstalled for the regular user, and it seemed easy for newbies as well.
There was a moment of uncertainty when Novell acquired SuSE, but when it became a community distribution named openSUSE everything went better and better. That was the moment when I started to recomend to my family and friends to instal openSuSE, and those who accepted are happy with their choice.
And now with a rolling distribution as openSUSE Tumbleweed I'm more than happy.