Not really a linux newbie, my first distro was debian (around 2000), then I switched to Gentoo for a few years, but got tired of the compile time and too frequent config edition after an update.
My work bought me a Macbook that I used from 2005 to 2009, but paying for all the apps (or having to find illegal versions), and tired of a closed system, I went back to Linux (XUbuntu and Arch : one for the stable work laptop, the other for “last version” software).
This year, my Thinkpad crashed so on the new one, I installed MX17 and Archlabs (mainly choosen for the fast install, and Crunchbang spirit).
MX17 is great, but almost “too stable”, and missing the “bleeding edge”.
I installed Archlabs, and felt in love with the Openbox and i3 DE.
Congratulation to all the contributors for such a great distro.
MX is a distro I would recommend for someone who doesn’t want to mess with the config.
It’s clean, has a low memory footprint when running XFCE, a lot of useful tools to configure.
There is a useful tool which allow you to clone your present system to a LiveUSB and install it as it is on another computer (I did this for two of my sons recently, you have a working system with all the programs you want right after the install).
As they never used Linux, I wanted a stable distro, which wouldn’t break after an update.