Just to answer a few of the posts here for the new Linux netbook users
1) No DVD/CD player...you need to use an external USB drive for this. These are plug and play, unless you have a really old drive. If it is mainly for watching DVDs on the move, the thing to do is to rip the DVD into a file and read off a USB stick....this is illegal unless you own the DVD. A 2G stick will hold 3 DVDs worth of movies.
2) Messenger. You can chat with MSN users using software called Pidgin or go to website called Meebo. Advantage of pidgin is that you can chat will AOL, Yahoo, MSN, IRC through the same program. Disadvantage, no video. Skype and other VOIP works with Linux
3) BBC iPlayer, YouTube, work yes. You may need to install the Adobe Flash Player plugin. Not all video sites will work...those using microsoft silverlight (very few currently) will not.
4) Microsoft Office applications do not work easily here but there are equivalents in OpenOffice and you can use DOC, PPT and XLS file easily. Some MS Office documents contain VB Macros. These only work with the latest version of Open Office. However these macros are probably the easiest way to carry viruses, so it is probably a good job that OpenOffice doesn't support them! For most simple purposes I would recommend Abiword and Gnumeric. Both are fully functional and blisteringly fast.
5) Linux uses repositories to store software that have been tested and work with the specific distro. This means that any program you want can be installed from the net with couple of clicks from a central store. Most users here recommend moving to Ubuntu Linux which undoubtedly contains one of the largest repositories.
6) Linux is extremely customisable. The beauty of this baby is that you can play around and make it run faster or have more eye candy, My personal favourite is to install xsteem or dosbox, and play 100s (literally) of old DOS and TOS games ...nostalgia heaven!!!