One trick that you can use to always know where BOINC is storing the juicy goods of the work units it to bring up the boinc manager just after starting the application and take a look at the "Messages" tab. Look for the "Data directory:" log entry. This will tell you, upon every startup where BOINC is looking for work. This is great when troubleshooting.
That said, I noticed you were looking to change distro's. Please keep in mind that the "curve" of running BOINC doesn't necessarily change. The issues do sometimes but the core of Linux is fairly standard.