Agree with you, rhoderickj
I'd really like Ubuntu to concentrate on the desktop for now, ease into the cloud later. There's a funkiness to the Gnome desktop that's hard to put your finger on, but I will say that I prefer Ubuntu's Gnome to any others I've tried. As for the server, I stick with CentOS and its rpm/yum system. It's just tried and true for me. I have it playing ball perfectly with Active Directory at work, serving up an application-rich intranet.