In my opinion, the older distros are actually the easiest to use, once you have it installed & setup.
Just to name a few. I think trying Mint or maybe it was Ubuntu I ran across that verification style setup, reminds one of Windows. I don't try all the newer distros that are out anymore, but at one point I did distro hop and wouldn't keep it installed long.
I like to do a minimum install of my distro also, it keeps all the unecessaryjunk from being installed by default and I add only other software that I want or need.
Like it is...Yusef Lateef