Well Brad, kinda surprised you couldn't get moodle working on windows, it's always been a cinch to setup. Linux will be a little trickier, but worth the effort for the speed increase you get with linux, especially if you're running it on the command line. It's scary at first and the learning curve is steep, but here's my advice:
1) Ubuntu is my fave. It's well used and I've not come across many problems yet.
2) Always get the latest version of moodle, you only need the standard version as you don't want XAMPP or anything else with it.
3) You don't need to be a guru, but I would suggest following this guide
to set up the server
. After that, you should be able to get the rest of what you need from the moodle forums or from google.BTW
, what problems were you getting with setting it up on windows? I've installed moodle several times on windows in XAMPP and setting Apache et al up myself and never had any major issues. I ran the Linux server as a play test at first until I got the hang of it as there are a whole other set of pitfalls to fall into, if you're not comfortable with it, my best advice would be to try and figure out what's wrong with the windows install first.