re: triple-booting: so as to not thoroughly overwhelm my poor little mind, i think i'll get my feet wet with Fedora first, then try some of the other Linux distros after i have a better sense of what i'm doing.
This is just a thought, but if you would like to try out multiple linux distros and you do not wish to do the multiboot dance (dual booting isn't that bad and multibooting shouldn't be that much worse), what you can do is go and grab yourself a free copy of VMware Server from their website and install it under either Linux or windows and then from there it will pretty much guide you through all the steps to install and setup virtual machines with guest operating systems that you can play with.
This was pretty easy to do and it doesn't require a whole lot of computer muscle (my dad's 5 year old laptop could do it), but even if it did, that shouldn't be a problem for you.
There are some good fedora 8 setup guides that will get most of your desktop running with media and such. Search with google will turn up several. Most of the commands are cut and paste, which will make your life easier if your new to linux.