To add what MadmanRB said, and as you stated stable Linux Mint KDE because it is much like Kubuntu, but Kubuntu is the big daddy, it has all the new bells and whistles - very cool.
Have you thought about where to install it? Because if your using this for work then you will need to be much more careful, and preferably have some kind of backup image on another drive. Then to Dual Boot as you might already know.
You can also burn the Live Medium (like NickAu1 suggested above) but to a USB drive and Boot from that, some like this better, or just have one laying around that can be used. There can be some little niggles with the USB's over, what I would say, the easier DVD route. If you should go the USB route you will need to download Unetbootin to your windows install here. Then download an iso to create your LiveLinuxDVD or USB.
As far as customization goes, they all are, but the ones mentioned above would have these options kind-of built in. Linux is open source, so you can change anything you want if you know how.
Look at some youtube stuff if you want a better idea of how they look and work.
Edited by pcpunk, 30 November 2015 - 03:46 PM.