Well, after lots of talking and thinking and testing and planning I have finally switched to Linux on my main laptop Dell Inspiron 500M. Actually I have set it up to dualboot with Windows XP but have not been in XP for over a week. Not since I got dial-up working, that was a bit of a trick.
So I am now running Kubuntu (www.kubuntu.org) and using Kontact (a pim), Firefox and OpenOffice. All of it perfectly free software.