I have an idea on how to put together an ultimate Linux box that is consumer friendly, not only in ease of use, but friendly to the wallet.
Motherboard: Intel Core Two Duo processor running at 3.2Ghz
System Memory: 2GB (more if you can afford it)
Disk Space: 320GB minimum (again, more if you can afford it)
Video: any of the nVidia graphics chipsets (for the best Linux support around), or an Intel graphics chipset (built into the motherboard, and well supported at that)
Audio: Creative SoundBlaster Audigy SE (for 24-bit audio)
Display: any of the Samsung Syncmaster series (they are the best LCD screens)
...and the distribution:
Why? First this distribution was built for ease of installation, use and administration. Second, the distribution uses the repositories from the stable version of Debian Lenny, and that means a TON of software is available for download, specifically, more packages are available for download there than for any other distribution. Third, SimplyMEPIS runs faster than Fedora, OpenSuSE, or Mandriva on this system configuration.