The truth is that the Linux distributions are very similar, so this should not be as much of a problem as you might
imagine. It is always easier to upgrade rather than re-install, of course, but since you're talking about one machine, I wouldn't worry about it until you're ready for newer features down the road.
Since Mandriva has lost market share, you are likely to find that more applications are written and tested for Red Hat and SuSE, however.
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