Over the weekend I upgraded my laptop (Dell D820) to the Ubuntu release that came out a few days ago, Ubuntu 8.04. Rather than doing a dist upgrade or using Synaptic, I decided to reinstall without eating my /opt and /home partitions.
I had some initial trouble with the CD - it seems that burning the image at "auto" speed (which presumably defaults to as fast as it can) doesn't work. The installation gets just over a third of the way through and then it dies with an IO error. It does however suggest trying to burn the CD at a lower speed- so I burnt another CD (on another machine; mine was no longer booting as part of /boot and / were gone) at 4x and it worked like a charm.
Most of the stuff works out of the box - the microphone which didn't work with the older version (I stayed at last April's Fiesty Fawn release and didn't upgrade in October) is working now. However, sound controls, which worked with the LiveCD boot are not working with the installation. So there are some issues yet, but boy, I have to say this OS is getting more and more slick.
I think I could give this to my parents now and they'd be ok using it and even installing it without help. Some stuff is still not quite there (I haven't tried yet but I'm not expecting video conf stuff to work well yet for example), Thunderbird doesn't deal with Exchange invites properly yet etc. etc., but things are getting better for sure.
Update (April 28th): I tested the new version of Skype and audio and video worked without a hitch as well! Awesome .. I stand corrected :).
When I put the Ubuntu CD on a Windows Vista box at home it gave an option to install within Windows .. and basically instead of Grub it uses the Windows boot loader and installed Ubuntu in a directory in Windows without having to partition the machine. That is seriously cool.
Now Edubuntu (the Ubuntu distro which is targeted to the k-12 education community) comes as an add-on for Ubuntu. We haven't got that working on the Vista set up yet but hopefully later today.