Long time Linux user (all the way back to Slackware 3. I actually have an old 486 with 3 modems in it that STILL has a running SW3 on it! Booted it up last night for giggles, and it still worked...lol)
I downloaded the Ubuntu 9.something, and installed it to a spare drive I had in my box, triple booting between Win7, Slackware64 13.1, and Ubuntu. I'll have to say, Ubuntu makes life a bit easier as far as gnome goes.
I've since upgraded to 10.04, and removed the SW13.1 partition, and dedicated that space to a 'common data disk', formatted as NTFS (But am running SW13.1 in VMWare).
Luckily, for many of the issues I've had, it's a simple matter for me to fire up the cli and dig into config files and whatnot (Still love SW for teaching me about Linux). My kids even use Ubuntu by default (even tho they DO have access to Win7. They like the speed of Ubuntu better)
Speaking of speed, my Ubuntu install is NOT as fast as my SW13.1 was, but that's because I recompile the kernel all the time for SW, and eliminate all the junk I don't need, along with optimizing all the programs that would load at start.
This box currently runs as my home wireless router, too, and firewall. The wife says she hasn't had any issues with it yet, except when I reboot (which I hate with a passion, but Ubuntu has that particular 'windows disease' on a few programs and settings.) without telling her first.
As far as 'gaming', about all my son and I do is World of Warcraft, and the speed for that is faster than Windows 7, so he and I are both happy. The only games my daughter plays are things on Facebook, so that's no issue at all.
Updates are another thing I enjoy about Ubuntu. Much better than "update Tuesday" for Windows...