I did the same thing and ended but having Linux on my machine and MacBook. also, im doing the LPIC-1 because if fucking. love. Linux. and the gnu stuff.
I would say fedora by the mile. it doesn't look so user-friendly and artsy and designerish BUT when you are 6 months into Linux and you realize what the hell canonical is doing and/or is trying you feel kinda betrayed. I felt that way.
fedora is very nice, works well, doesn't look like much BUT because it's from red hat it has some speciality and works different than other distros and you have to "unlock" some reports, its will serve very well and very long.
if you want to actually learn how to operate gnu/Linux install all the stuff you need to enjoy media: browser, music player, vlc player etc and use it for EVERYTHING. also: learn vim. ask Wendell, but he will tell you vim. next thing you do: take a very hot bath, smoke or drink a little and say following mantra for 1 hour: "EVERYTHING IS A FILE" after you realize that everything is a file and you can work vim open a terminal and your browser, get a command line cheat sheet and get crazy
you can do everything.
but srsly: learn how to work with the terminal and the shell. write some easy scripts, make some aliases. read the man pages.
ask the community. that's what we do: do stuff we think we know but in the end, we google and after that ask in the forums.