I have been playing more with a virtualized version of Mint and I must say that after installing the Krusader file manager the Mint experience improved 10-fold...for me at least. The default file manager wouldn't (or couldn't) connect to my shared drives using SAMBA. With Krusader there was no problem accessing the same drives. Apparently all file managers that come standard with any OS are too crippled to be of any use
There is still something to fix, though. VLC plays all videos on my (shared) drives fluently...in black and white. The other player that comes by default with Mint plays the same videos in color but 'choppy', no matter how much video RAM I make available to VirtualBox. And yes, all updates that come with VirtualBox, that have to be installed into the guest, are installed. A puzzle that is likely caused by the fact that I run it on a virtual machine that is molded into a portable version by the software of a 3rd party.
Anyway, I am convinced that Mint would do even better on "bare metal" and will advice others to use Mint if they want to jump ship or guide them with installing it on their system(s). Mint 16 has shown me that Linux has come a far way, since I have been trying it (my first distro was the official boxed set of Suse 7.0 which sold through the better book stores).