I have run Linux systems for about a decade, but not always as my main OS though. Whereas I used to enjoy the learning curve linux forced on you, at some point it was both more interesting and easier to use than windows. The selection of packages in Ubuntu is superb and there is no show-stopping apps that I need to run windows for. With all the compiz niceness we are winning the eye candy wars, and of course it increases my productivity… marginally. The installer is unbeatable, people who think windows is easier are mad or deluded by the fact someone else did it for them. Hardware support is brilliant in Linux in general and particularly in Ubuntu; even if you dont like binary drivers, having stuff work is what you want.
I have been amazed at how well Ubuntu works on my laptop (a Dell D430), every device works, I have Compiz on my Intel graphics card, the USB DVD-RW works, the docking station works, all the function keys work, everything works. The only slight niggle was attaching a projector the other day, I had never done dual monitors and Fn-F8 seemed to work but I had to change my screen resolution to match the projectors, I could not get it to work in dual monitor mode (I only tried a few mins as the pressure was on to get an image up)
Ubuntu is Debian. I have said this to people before, possibly to be controversial but I think there is a point to be made. Ubuntu is Debian at least in the way Debian is GNU + Linux + X.org + …, it would not exist without the work of the Debian developers. It is distinct enough that I will never state that identity again, I was over egging the pudding. I like the idea of them selecting a core of packages from Debian testing/unstable, QAing them, adding apps not found in there and tweaking the settings. I spent an awful long time trying to do that single handedly in the past, using apt-pining and loads of 3rd party repos, and it was a pain and certainly not as stable as Ubuntu is. I like that they recompile Debian packages and make them available in Universe and Multiverse, but think they are a bit coy about saying where they come from, “a snapshot of the free world” or something I think they say. I think people perhaps need to be a bit more thoughtful when giving credit, hard work by Debian, the kernel guys, Gnome and pick_your_favorite_app will make Ubuntu look better, as of course will all the good work the Ubuntu guys do. I think I will continue to use Debian stable for servers for some time though, Ubuntu LTS does not seem as safe a bet to me.