Hold your breath and wait
It seems I am the only one having the problems. I upgraded from Jaunty, so this may be the culprit. My main gripes are:
1. Boot time. To GDM it is really fast. Then it is a slugfest. 20 something seconds for GDM login prompt to appear, and whopping 50 seconds for usable desktop. My laptop has T7200 Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 2 GB of RAM, so clearly something is not right.
2. Empathy and notification area. Every review just mentions that Empathy is default. Since I use it since 8.10 I thought no problems. No luck. Before Empathy was happily sitting in the notification area. No more. Now to see whether you are online, you have to add to the panel the sesion indicator applet. To be notified of the messages you have to add indicator applet. The first applet displays your full login name and the status icon is non-colored. So instead of one unobtrusive icon to see your status and to open empathy window, now I have two applets which take up my precious panel space, and I have to click a smorgasboard of applets and whatnot to open the empathy window. A huge usability no-no from my point of view. And god forbid if you did not notice that you have a message. The panel will not indicate this now. Go to indicator applet, press it, and may be you will be lucky.
3. The password box. For some reason whenever I have to enter password anywhere, I have to use magnifying glass to see password signs. I checked all obvious places, all fonts are in order, dpi is reported correctly, so I must draw a conclusion that this was a design choice. Why display anything at all then?
So there. If you upgrade from Jaunty beware. You may have a rough ride. I made my mistake by trying too soon. Wait the usual month. And probably do a clean install. I for one will certainly do one, since ext4 seems worth it.