If you’re new to Linux, you don’t want to download the kernel, which is just a component in a working Linux system. Instead, you want what is called a distribution of Linux, which is a complete Linux system. There are numerous distributions available for download on the Internet as well as for purchase from various vendors; some are general-purpose, and some are optimized for specific uses. We currently have mirrors of several distributions available at mirrors.kernel.org, as well as a small collection of special-purpose distributions at http://www.kernel.org/pub/dist/.
Note, however, that most distributions are very large (several gigabytes), so unless you have a fast Internet link you may want to save yourself some hassle and purchase a CD-ROM with a distribution; such CD-ROMs are available from a number of vendors.
The Linux Installation HOWTO has more information how to set up your first Linux system.