The installation is easy and hassle free both for the binary package and repo install. Your problem lies elsewhere, you're using a laptop. Laptop support is done by the manufacturer, and usually is zero support for linux. That means you're trying to DIY a config out of unsupported, untested components. I wonder why it doesn't work...
For supported cards the install process is the same as under windows, run the installer, click next a few times, reboot, done. Or install drivers from a repo and you don't even have to worry about kernel/xorg updates.
On the other hand, installing nvidia drivers is what I call a hassle. You need to blacklist open source drivers manually, reboot to a low runlevel, run the installer from a terminal and if you're very lucky, it won't find anything to complain about... Installing from a repo is the same easy thing though.
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 810 @ 3120MHz | RAM: Kingmax 2x2GB DDR2 800 @ 833MHz| MoBo: MSI K9A2 CF v1.0 (BIOS: 1.D)| GPU: Asus HD 6850 1024MB (DirectCu) @ 835/1135MHz | Display: L24FHD | PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad | OS: MS Windows 3.11 Pro x64