Years late to the party as usual, I just installed and configured Ubuntu desktop for the first time. There was something just slightly magical about being able to download, burn, and install a free operating system in one sitting. It sure beat wringing my hands over what to purchase and how much that would cost.
Wow, is Ubuntu easy to install. Not only did the system installation take a tiny fraction of the time of a Windows install, but I saved additional time because it already had Firefox and Gimp ready to go, and I installed Thunderbird within minutes using Add/Remove applications! The utility offers one-click installs of other Ubuntu-supported open-source applications — far easier than installing a commercial app on Windows. I had Thunderbird and Lightning installed and configured in a flash. Now I get to live in a Linux desktop world for a while and find out what it really feels like.