Well, in the end I got tired of Ubuntu and the weird hoops I had to go through to make sure things worked the way I wanted. Removing Unity (the desktop shown in the screenshot) was the first thing I did after installing, taking back the Gnome3 shell instead.
But, that got boring. So I decided to just abandon Ubuntu all together, after… well, a number of years, and going to Linux Mint. Since their Linux Mint 12 is based on Ubuntu (but doesn’t go for Unity), I decided to go back to something I’m more accustomed to: Linux Mint Debian Edition. Debian is the root of all that’s good, so… And Mint had made sure things Just Work when I installed it (Ubuntu had a bit of a problem with my sound chip), so I’m now pleased.
Oh, and Debian has a rolling update strategy, i.e. they don’t do releases like the rest of the world. Updates are to individual programs and are applied as they’re released. No need to upgrade a whole distribution anymore.
After a number of weeks, I must say I’m mighty pleased. Mint have added the niceties I’m used to have when I’m working, and things just work while looking good. Could it be better?
They warn people that the distribution has some sharp edges, but hey… I used to run Gentoo as my desktop, on an old mini-ITX 1GHz board. Ain’t much with rougher edges than that.