I'm relatively new to programming and very new to game programming. A while back I made a go at directx and never got too far. Not that it was impossibly hard or anything, but it was just obscure enough to cause me to be distracted into doing other, non-game, projects.
Now I'm interested again in gaming and this time I'm using Linux. I'm really happy with SDL so far. It's intuitive, straightfoward, and well constructed. It does help that I know alot more now than I did during my directx endeavor. I've gone from an idea in my head to a working rev of a game rather quickly. Good stuff. I'm also looking forward to porting my game to other OSes with (hopefully) few problems.