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You sound like me. I started out with Red Hat, it came bundled with a book on learning Linux. After a week of frustration I gave up on it and tried Corel, which I paid for after finding out it came with WordPerfect (we were using WordPerfect in college during that time). Corel was great in most areas but wasn't very stable. I found out about Slackware and that was the distro I stayed with until the first Ubuntu release many years later.
Ubuntu really opened my eyes to the world of apt, and I tried out a lot of Debian based distros over the years, but I always ended up back on Slackware. Arch was the first distro to make me truly put Slack aside, but after the recent aggressive changes I felt the need to revert once again to good old stable Slackware.