I gave Ubuntu Linux a quick run. I grabbed the 7.10 iso, burned it to a CD and rebooted my laptop. Sweet and easy. I'd heard Ubuntu was pretty good with laptops, which is why I wanted to check out this Linux distribution.
Overall, the OS looks great and the applications matched well with what you would expect an OS to have: office suite, media player, imaging, browser, etc. However, I really couldn't try out the features I wanted because I didn't actually install it. Seems my wireless card needs a driver that Ubuntu wouldn't let me load. I also seem to need to load ATI's drivers to get the 3D card features, that GNOME wasn't pleased that they weren't there already. Unfortunately, it wanted to hit the Internet to pull the drivers, which wasn't happening without the wireless drivers.
Problems aside, I found Ubuntu a very nice flavor of Linux. Spending a lot of my time in the Unix server world, most of my interaction with Unix is usually through CLI. However, with Ubuntu, it was more like Windows. There were GUI's abound, menus and preferences, etc. I only loaded the terminal after about an hour of exploration. I even got my Compaq laptop's easy access buttons to mostly work -- the LED wouldn't light if you mute the speakers. I also found the CPU utilization and cooling was much better. Ubuntu didn't tend to spike my fan up as bad as Vista does.
In all a pretty good first impression. I'd still like to see the wireless work. I'd also like to experience more then basic interface features. Ubuntu has a lot going for it and it might, just might, be worth a real install. Or maybe I should just go buy a Mac.