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My first distro was Slackware back in 2002. I don't even completely remember the version, I think it was 8 or 9. It was when the 2.6.x kernel was just starting up, I remember the distro would install the 2.4.x kernel by default, but you could install it with 2.6.x (I think it was 2.6.5) if you wanted (which I did). At that time Slack didn't have much of a package system so I went through dependency hell (several times) getting things installed. I also nuked my system a bunch of times messing around with stuff but it was all good because I was in control so when I would mess up and nuke the system I would realise why and learn from it.
There will always be a special place in my heart for Slack. I wouldn't recommend others start learning Linux like that because most people aren't touched in the head like me and wouldn't enjoy going through dependency hell, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I learned so much from Slack and once I figured things out and got everything installed it was stable as a rock. Like the saying goes "If a version of a program has made it into Slackware you know for sure that it's truly stable."
From there I moved onto Suse, Ubuntu (when it first came out), back to Suse, Gentoo, FreeBSD (not Linux I know), back to Ubuntu, then finally Fedora where I've spent the last year and a half or so and counting.