Definitely over-priced, even for a Xeon based system. Bob says he has rubber bands on his wallet to keep the moths in - a mere beginner! I bought my current daily workhorse machine about 2-3 years ago, a Lenovo T500 Core 2 Duo Laptop, ex-lease, for $39 Australian. I spent about $100 on a Mac DDR3 matched pair RAM kit 2 x 4GB and a WD Black 750 GB HDD- couldn't afford a big enough SSD. Came with it's original HDD wiped but OK, since I wanted it for Linux. Solid and reliable, though from the sound of it you need more configuration.
About Linux, You mentioned that you didn't understand the references suggested and I don't think anyone explained. For Linux, you have the basic operating system, such as Ubuntu or Mint or others which are basically text mode or command line in Windows terms and then you have a choice of desktops, the GUI interfaces, such as KDE, Gnome, Mate, Cinnamon, etc. which is what James was referring to. And everyone knows that their choice is the best!
I go back a couple of decades with Linux to SuSE 7 Pro with KDE but only seriously took it up when I bought this machine. So for me, the choice was OpenSuSE Leap with the KDE desktop. It's actually the stable version based on SuSE Linux Enterorise Server, which is the professional rock solid system. It's the one I'd recommend, current release is 42.3 but if you have used Ubuntu, you may prefer to stick with that. "Distro" by the way is a shortened "Distribution" which may have meant more to you.
Back to the machine you were considering, although described as a workstation, the configuration sounds more like a server in origin. Not an issue, I have an HP Server ML110 converted to a desktop and I like it - a full tower makes upgrades wonderfully easy. I recall Dell did offer some machines with Linux pre-installed - was this one of them or done subsequently?
As others have said, installing your own Linux system is a great learning experience - Leap takes about 20-30 minutes from booting the DVD (free download) to working desktop, worth investing the time to get what you want.
On the topic of your VM to run Linux under Windows, why? If it was me, I'd go for a dual boot system instead and then run either Linux or Windows, not try to run one under the other. If you have Windows on the machine and install Linux in a separate partition, GRUB (Linux bootloader) will see it and build you a dual boot menu to choose the operating system you want to use at any particular time. I've nothing against VMs, I go back to VM/370 on IBM mainframes, it's just another layer of stuff to learn.
I hope some of this helps. Truly, I think you can do better than the machine you asked about. Most manufacturers have clearance sales on previous models and you should be able to get a Core i7 sixth generation for around the price you quote and, despite being a cheapskate, I know which one I'd choose!