This week's book giveaway is in the OCMJEA forum. We're giving away four copies of OCM Java EE 6 Enterprise Architect Exam Guide and have Paul Allen & Joseph Bambara on-line! See this thread for details.
Why not just buy (or re-use) a cheap Windows laptop and install Linux yourself? That way you'll have a much wider choice of machines. There are plenty of great Linux distributions that are really easy to get started with. I really like Linux Mint, for example, but Ubuntu is another very popular distro for beginners.