I've always preferred stable distros with a long term support than shiny, disposable ones you need to reinstall every 6 months. For this reason (and many others against Debian/Ubuntu/Mint LMDE, etc.) I use Mint Maya on my workstation.
Unfortunately Mint team doesn't update the released ISOs. This is not a problem with the non LTS versions because they are intended to last only 6 months whereas it really is a problem with the LTS one because it is intended for lasting years and a fresh installation today takes more than 500MB of files download/substitution… that's almost a new distro from scratch! .
Looking around I found some other people complaining this “problem”. http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=128277
For this reason I spent some time to remaster a new updated DVD before starting the installation on my workstation and finally I shared my work to help others.
You can find the result of my work here: http://www.riksoft.it/gratis.php
I initially made only the 64 bit but now 3 versions are available: Mate 32bit, Mate 64bit and Xfce 32 bit.
I update these ISOs more or less every 6 months.
Before installing, I tested and compared it with some other distros to check ram consumption, responsiveness, features, and so on. Escaping from Ubuntu because Unity really sucks a lot on computers (if I wanted a tablet I would have bought a tablet not an I7 workstation! I don't want to transform a big computer in a stupid small tablet!), Mint 13 seems the best choice because it is still Ubuntu based with a good compromise between lightness and power.
I was tempted by Lubuntu and Xubuntu but Lubuntu has not an LTS version (Sept. 2014: now it has) and Xubuntu is not very appealing to me: XFCE is great but Xubuntu has not a really good theme (Lubuntu look very better than that), it has advertising inside, etc.
To say the truth I initially took a look at Debian. Unfortunately I don't like the latest Debian too: Gnome seems to follow the Mac/Win/Ubuntu trend instead of promoting usability. Moreover Debian had some problems on my hardware and I didn't want to spend much time solving it.
The Rolling Release philosophy at first sounds very good since it theoretically means you'll never have to change version. But the reality is not so good because it also involves accidents and rolling back.
There are many different rolling models. Mint LMDE and Debian don't use the same model.
When Debian testing reaches the stable state it stops using the rolling release.
On the contrary, Mint LMDE goes ahead indefinitely remaining on the latest Debian testing available. (Update 2015-07 Mint LMDE is no more a rolling release: http://segfault.linuxmint.com/2015/02/about-betsy/ )
Furthermore, Mint LMDE uses the cyclical rolling, which means the Debian testing rolling updates are “quantized” trying to reduce problems (e.g. rolling back). So LMDE works more like “Update Packs” which are tested snapshots of Debian Testing.
So Debian rolling always comes to an end where you need to reinstall the new versions, while Mint LMDE theoretically last forever (the reality is that in this universe nothing last forever and the entropy is going to destroy your distro exactly the same as all the other things, planets and stars included!).
For the above reasons, I finally chose Mint 13 + Mate (Not the LMDE and not Cinnamon DE). There are tons of good distros but my choice was based on