I see here that this group is using the same method to lure people to GNU/Linux that I used to make the switch: switch the applications first.
See, when you make the switch, a lot of things change. So (and because I had unsuccessfully attempted the switch a couple of time before), this time I followed this method: switch the applications first. This way you can solve the problems one at a time and make it easier on yourself. Anyways, thanks to the work of many programmers voluntarily porting these applications to windows, I replaced IE with Firefox, Outlook with Thunderbird (for work, web-based gmail for personal), MS Office with OpenOffice, MSN Messenger with Gaim, Photoshop with Gimp etc. Hence, when I made the switch, I only had to deal with the core OS issues (some arised, I must admit, but GNU/Linux is much readier for the desktop now than it was the last time I tried it).