I use Inkscape, GIMP, VLC, and Audacity a lot; so I was very pleased when I discovered these come standard in the Software Center. I was also excited when I installed KolourPaint (an MS Paint clone) for my pixel animations (like my icon).
My computer is 5 years old, so it takes a long time for Windows 7 to download and install updates. Not the case with Ubuntu, because it's already up to date and even then, they don't take long.
Do 14.04 first, there's no great difference on the desktop versions. You might also like one of the other flavours of the desktop like kubuntu or gnome-ubuntu as these have much better theme control that vanilla ubuntu which has been decreasing it's flexibility for some years now.
Finally ditched windows, and moved to linux. After a lengthy research of linux distros, I found 3 that could fit my needs: Fedora, Mint and Ubuntu. Ubuntu won, it's just so amazing, rarely does a software leave me speechless. Everything works with no issues, it's beautiful, customizable, functional, always new software, fast, light-weight, the list goes on and on... Currently on 14.04. and loving it. I should have moved from windows to ubuntu a long long time ago, was using windows for 10+ years and never even heard of ubuntu.
Yeah, that's the saddest fact, most people I know have no idea what is ubuntu and some of them don't even know what's linux. We should spread the word. Fact that I didn't heard about it all this time is mind blowing.
I really like the fact Ubuntu is so powerful. Yet this operating system has allowed me to keep an old PC working. It's fast, easy to use, and free. It is by far the best alternative option from using Windows yet. Many thanks to the Linux community for Ubuntu.