I started using Unix professionally in 1993 and discovered Linux in 1994. My first distribution was CD-based and came with an X11 desktop. It came with plenty of documentation from the Linux Documentation Project. It was exactly the right information at the right time in my career to help me really learn Unix.
Over the years I've had the fortune of installing and using many great distributions. Of special note are these distributions:
Here are some notes and shell scripts that I've written.