My copy of Word 2003 broke recently (after a sodding Automatic Update), & rather than shell out shitloads for a new copy, I resolved to try to break my Microsoft addiction, tho am not yet ready to abandon Win XP for Linux (but have already ditched Outlook & IE). Initially I thought to switch to OpenOffice, but then I got to wondering about (La)TeX, & would be very grateful for informed advice on this score.

My question is: What is the best document preparation software for someone who 

(i) works a lot with truetype & unicode fonts,
(ii) is a typography fetishist,
(iii) loathes the frustrations of trying to get complicated software to work correctly or at all.
(iv) is reluctant to learn lots of elaborate & radically new ways of doing old familiar things;

or, broadly speaking:

(I) is generally very happy with Word 2003 (bar the cost and the enslavement to Microsoft) but
(II) would like something that gives typographically better results (e.g. intelligent handling of ff fl fi ligatures; centring diacritics over m & w) and that doesn't severely degrade when typographical demands start getting very heavy

? Advice from experts or from people in a similar position to me is warmly solicited.