FWIW, original AC here....
I too have been installing Unix boxes for years, I still have SCO Xenix 386 here somewhere and I *think* I may even still have the earlier version (I *think* it was named '286' but it's been a while, the SCO unix System V I have doesn't count, it came on new fangled CDs) so I'm not scared of an install or the shell/command line to tweak things (hell,it's my favoured way, even on Windows)
The fact that there are still any magic chickens needed to just install ubuntu (and that's on your hardware, mine will be completely different and therefore require completely different chickens and perhaps a goat) makes it unready for the mainstream because the average Joe user needs to be able to chuck a disk in and let it run. He shouldn't have to drop to a shell and type half the alphabet to get a dependancy to install or run properly. Leave the command line/shell stuff for the intricate difficult bits that require finesse and fine grained control, not the relatively simple task of getting something like a network card to work.
Something the Linux zealots *all* miss is that computing is no longer the preserve of the geek, everyone has a computer now, everyone wants to be able to browse the 'net, plug in peripherals, share files etc. etc.. If it works wihtout intervention then fine but when Linux fails to work straight away, it becomes very unpleasant and difficult very quickly for end users. To be user friendly, it has to be possible for the majority of users to use and configure.
FWIW, I do use Ubuntu desktop as well as Windows 7 and I run a couple of Ubuntu servers (one's a squid proxy and the other is a test machine) but it's just not there yet for the desktop.
I can take a Windows disk and chuck it at almost any machine that has enough disk space, RAM and processor and it installs to the point where it can connect to the 'net and automatically download drivers or, more often, with no further intervention at all, leaving a working desktop.
I will try 10.04, I hope to be pleasantly surprised because I know the evil of Gates and would dearly love to drop him completely. I just can't, not until all my users, friends, family, aquaintances etc. all do too and for that to happen, Linux desktop needs to be *much* better.
FWIW, I hate all Mac, Windows and Linux zealots equally.