The problem is you took “Which distro should I use?” advice from linux geeks. That’s always a bad idea.
Use Debian. It’s stable, user friendly, and has the best philosophy about free software.
If you don’t want your computer to be aggravating don’t use little-known third world linux distributions. Your choice comes to “Red Hat or Debian?” And go from there.
By the way, OSX is built on BSD so you’re already using a BSD OS, and replacing it with *BSD is sort of ridiculous, which your friend should have explained to you. Again, don’t take advice from *nix geeks.
Disclaimer, I am a linux nerd. But I agree with you, your computer should not be a source of aggravation.