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Cordially invited

Hi All,
Having been cordially invited to this list by an unsolicited email... a welcome one, I decided to subscribe to see what gives here.  This could be a very productive list and just might be the place to speak off-topic.
I have been a RH LInux user of sorts (off and on) for about 5 years.  I was first attracted to Linux because it offered a solution to my home network/internet access needs.  Of course, along the way I had to play a bit with the OS, Samba and digital audio recording (my favorite hobby).  My home network server is dual-boot W2k and RH 7.3.  It would be running fulltime RH 7.3 except for the time and study required to set-up and utilize iptables or ipchains.  The push seems to be on for iptables which leads me to believe ipchains is inadequate.  I have no problem setting up Samba accross the entire network and administrating it, except, of course for the major printing problems.  I use the very powerful Samba GUI and it works flawlessly.  It seems my LaserJet 4 requires some special software to print.  I have tried everything worthwhile and can't get it to work.  Of course, while running W2k it prints seamlessly, accurately and reliably for every user on the network and I didn't have to click once or type a single key to make it work.
I had high hopes that RH 7.3 would fix my printing and firewall issues, but I am am regretful to say nothing has changed.  Granted, if I were to dedicate hours or possibly days of frustrating configuration and reading of worthless HOW-TOs I MIGHT be able to get things to work, but I doubt it.
Why do I hang on?  Because I know there will eventually be a real solution for those that desperately want to migrate from anything Microsoft.  Why leave Microsoft if everything works so well, you ask?  Because Microsoft OS is a memory hungry, bloated pig and any real user knows there are band-aids on top of patches on top of service packs that barely hold it together.  When I had RH 6.2 set-up and running Samba and IP masquerading it purred like a kitten and I never saw a crash, even when the HDD crashed.  I didn't even realize it had crashed until one day when I turned the server monitor on for some reason and discovered all the drive access errors.  Yet, it was still plugging away at all those internal network requests for internet access.  When a W2k HDD crashes you are lucky to be able to get the mouse to move or the keyboard to work in order to shut it down.
Just to demonstrate how desperate a user can be consider this.  My W2k server had been running unprotected except for virus scanning.  I had absolutely no firewall in place.  Scary thought, huh?  Well, today I installed Norton Internet Security.  In a matter of about an hour I had stepped through all the GUIs and customized my firewall.  I still don't know a damn thing about ports, protocols or anything else related to low-level network traffic.  The nice thing is that Symantec (Norton product manufacturer) has a secure web site that Norton Internet Security users can go to to have their system inspected, detected, reflected, and any other kind of probing and prodding to see how it fares against attack.  Yeah, yeah, they set it up and configured it to make their software look good?  I don't think so.  They are professionals and they make a great product with a GUI that even a dummy like me can use efficiently, productively and reliably.  Why isn't there something like this available from Red Hat?  I would pay for it.  I would pay considerably for it.
BTW - I have given up on digital audio recording with RH LInux.  I don't think I'll ever understand how to get the devices to work properly.
I'll hang on for now, but I am not sure how much longer I can wait.
Wanna be fulltime Linux user,

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