I gave up trying also but it isn't just a Ubuntu problem. I tried fedora 13 and it has the same problem. Maybe it's something with the new kernel? I ended up installing Debian.I gave up trying to install 10.4 on my Inspiron 8100. As I write this, I'm installing 9.10. When installing 10, I would get the same screen you say (I think the star is a little person in a circle, but I didn't recognize the other symbol). I would press the arrow keys to get a language menu, escape to go back, select "Install Ubuntu", and then watch the screen go blank. And not just blank; it would go white and then fade out toward the edges. Not a cool fade, more like a graphics-chip-freaked-out fade. And that was the last thing I saw. I could tell from messing with keys and watching the disk light that things were still happening in the background, but nothing more.
Okay, so now I'm finishing up the 9.10 install, and it looks fine. I know that if I go into the upgrade manager it will upgrade me to 10, and that worked fine before (this is a reinstall with a new SSD HD).
If Ubuntu is slacking on older hardware support, that would be a Bad Thing. I rely on the various flavors of Linux to power hardware that Microsoft has forgotten, and to do it better than Windows ever could. I figure I'm not alone in this.
Okay, the install finished, I'm rebooted, and Ubuntu is waiting for me to come and play. Good luck with your machine!