So, I am about to replace the Linux distro on my desktops, on my laptop and desktop machine, so I'm considering my choices... Debian-based is the way to go, so it's either Debian or Ubuntu.
I wouldn't go pure, vanilla Debian because of it's "correctness" (ok ok, I can add other repositories to the system, but it simply doesn't feel... "native" enough?). I've tried Kubuntu, but it simply didn't feel polished enough; it felt like Ubuntu's bastard child, management wise (Adept, KDE based apt frontend, crashed on me several times, dist-upgrade from 6.10 depended on some GTK stuff which wasn't installed automagically, so I had to figure out "by hand" what to install -- more info on that on my Launchpad bug report, etc).
That lead me to try Gnome-based, good ol' Ubuntu, and I have to say that so far, few glitches aside, it looks good. I haven't used Gnome for some time now and it seems really nice. Gnome itself and Nautilus, as a file manager, really feel snappy and stable. Gnome Terminal looks nicer than before and more usable.
Anyway, as a regular nitpicker, few downsides. First, LILO didn't install properly (Grub was complaining about residing on XFS, which is a no-no, eh?), so I had to manually edit lilo.conf, only to find out that some vital options are left out, such as "prompt", "lba32" and "compact", framebuffer "vga" line, too, and I had to add the timeout... Hmm, some really pretty much expected stuff? Why are they left out? Beats me. Then, in fstab, vfat partition had fs_passno = 1, so it was checked on every boot. Onward to Gnome itself. Ugly, anti-aliased fonts? Unlike KDE, Gnome Font preferences don't include an option to exclude some font size ranges from anti-aliasing, so everything is anti-aliased. Ok, I edited it by hand only to find out that the fonts that came with Ubuntu look terrible when not anti-aliased. I installed MS fonts and... what? They look ugly, too? Hmmm... I remember that Freetype has some bytecode interpreter option that makes those fonts look just like in Windows, but it is, to quote Freetype site, "potentially patent infringing", so it's disabled by default in Ubuntu... Damn that correctness. I found on Ubuntu forums a source for bytecode interpreter-enabled version of Freetype, so I installed that and FINALLY fonts looked BEARABLE. Then, the system doesn't have Adobe Flash player installed as default. Ok, I can understand that, that perhaps in the licence it doesn't allow automatic installation, or even inclusion in some other form like a Linux distro, but SuSE somehow managed to pull it off: the installer asks you whether you want to install that plugin nicely.
That's it for the first thoughts, more on Ubuntu later (perhaps) heh.