The Ubuntu Distro is usually good and solid, once you have tweaked back the versions you want rather than the old stuff they supply, but the UI and Shell are in my face and just plain annoying, technically good, visually ... don't know what to say that won't be censored :)
I went the XFCE route by doing the install of XFCE myself rather than starting off with a new distro, now I run my aging WINXP as a VM under Virtual Box ( not the one from the repo, go to Oracle and get it ) and I can pass through my USB devices - which is about the only reason I use windows - updating some 600 phone contacts etc is still very much a Windows based tool, oh yeah, and my printer/scanner works just fine connected as a usb pass through too, so that's saves defining remote printers between XP and Linux too, I just switch it as I need it.
Gnokii etc just don't have the interface for multiple numbers, addresses, etc etc and nothing I have found syncs my phone calendar.
Please don't mention google calendar/contacts etc , why should I put my personal data on the 2nd most snooping platform ( FB being the first )? . Not only that, I live in China, accessing anything with the words "google" in it is asking for dropped connections etc, FB/Twtr/G+ are all banned here.
I am quite happy syncing my calendar and contacts from a PC app where I can back it up easily, I wish I could do that with Thunderbird, but it's not been a success so far..
I am running Ubuntu with Xfce and two VM's with XP, one connected to my office VPN, one for anything I need to do where I don't have a Linux equivalent yet.
Go for it, think about keeping a Windows VM around "just in case", or go the dual boot route and define some shared data space in case you want to VM your Windows later.
The best thing, Windows performs far far faster under linux in my opinion, so 2 * XP + Xubuntu is just great.