I tried out the new Ubuntu Gutsy today on my mom’s Compaq Presario V3000 (didn’t install, just tried out the LiveCD) and found it to be a really good revamp from the last version. Now WiFi works out of the box, the battery indicator works perfectly, and there’s a bluetooth screen for managing bluetooth devices. The new desktop effects are also pretty cool: I switched from ‘normal’ to ‘extreme’ and found em windows wobbling all over the place. The inbuilt virtual desktop is also smooth and not distracting. While the fonts look a bit too rough, I found web pages very readable in Firefox, and the color theme is also pretty easy on the eyes (although I’d prefer a more colorful default theme). I love the Ubuntu Terminal, it’s much better than the default Mac one.
I can cautiously say that Ubuntu has gotten to the point where a web programmer (a non ASP type) can easily ditch Windows for Linux and not pay the premium for a Mac. There are things the Mac still does better and places where the Mac experience feels a lot more polished, but Ubuntu is closing the gap very fast.