does anybody have any reccomendations for emulation software to run linux on to learn it before the big migration?
What you want is called a LiveCD. It allows you to boot linux from the CD and run the OS on your PC without writing anything to your hard drive. Take out the CD, reboot, and you are back in Windows.
also what flavor would you reccomend for an average home user?
primarily i just do alot of photo editing and graphics, also play alot of games, and surf, pretty much general usage.
Ubuntu is the most common suggestion for new users. Check the sticky link at the top of this forum for advice on choosing your linux distro (distribution).
how hard is the actual migration, as in bringing all your pictures,music and what not over from windows?
i) Copy the files to DVD
ii) Install linux
iii) Copy the files from DVD to your PC.