"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers
But if you think this is getting needlessly complicated, which it is (as do most threads in any given linux forum ) then just download 12.04, burn to a live DVD and try it!
Thanks for everyone.
I've just installed 13.04 , and working fine!!!!
Mint 13. Based on Ubuntu 12.04 but no pesky Unity interface.
Actually on my netbook, which uses the infamous cedarview gpu and therefore has some hardware support issues in linux, 13.04 is far more stable than 12.04 was. And not just for video performance either.
On my more powerful laptop I mostly use at home I have 12.04 installed, and I haven't felt much need to upgrade to a newer version.
On my oldest laptop I also have 12.04, and I definitely won't be upgrading that one. The AMD integrated gpu in that one is not supported by AMD for any post 12.04 versions, so it'd work but I'd lose 3D video hardware acceleration.
I would consider all official (not pre release alpha or beta versions, also called +1) releases stable. But if you upgrade from the lts you may have to do some reconfiguring because the drivers have changed.
For example on my netbook, the wireless driver congfiguration for 13.04 was different from 12.04. This does not mean that 13.04 is less stable in this case. I had far worse problems with the wireless in 12.04. This was just tweaking it a bit.
So I'd also suggest trying the 12.04 live cd (actually I just use a usb stick now, it's much faster). See if everything works. If it does with the lts, go for it. It's probably the best way IMO if everything works. Buty you won't get the newest software packages. There are advantages and disadvantages either way.l