mmm, Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, OpenSuSE, Red Hat, Puppy - many of those are mainstream, and not one of them would allow the install of the Broadcom driver for the WiFi card in my netbook.
And if you want somewhere to point the finger of blame there, its Broadcom.
Broadcom for ages, officially refused to produce any kind of Linux driver, but instead insisted on people using NDISWrapper to load the Windows NDIS drivers in Linux. The only exception to this was the mipsel binaries for their SoCs used in many wireless routers.
Eventually a team did a clean-room reverse-engineer of the Broadcom driver, that's how we got the b43 driver. BUT, it needs the firmware loaded by the proprietary driver so it can squirt that into the wireless chip to make it work.
The Intel cards need this too, and Intel make the firmware available on their site under a license that permits redistribution. Thus if you've got an Intel wifi card, most LiveCDs already have the firmware and driver, and will JustWork™.
Not Broadcom. Instead, they make it neigh on impossible to get the firmware directly, so one must get a copy of the mipsel driver from a third-party site, and use a firmware extraction tool (b43-fwcutter) to extract it for the b43 kernel driver.
The good news is that some of the newer Broadcom chips, do have a GPLed driver, and Broadcom themselves are the ones pushing it, rather than pushing their own silly STA driver which is proprietary. The bad news is they haven't bothered to make right, the poor situation on their previous chips even though the open-source people have done 90% of the work already. So those of us who have older kit with the older chips, are left high-and-dry.
It was for this reason, I decided to not buy another MacBook. I'm using a late 2008-model MacBook which uses a BCM4322. After all the pain I had enduring the above, I decided my first laptop with a Broadcom WIFI chip would also be my last laptop with a Broadcom WIFI chip.
I bought a new laptop for work about 5 months ago, a Panasonic which had Intel WIFI, and now enjoy largely issue-free networking. The flakey Broadcom-based machine now lives at home where I can put up with flakiness.