I was an Ubuntu user earlier. For the past two months I've tried to replace Ubuntu with some other distribution (I the process, I forgot the core reason behind it ).
I tried like some 5-10 distributions, among the top 15 from listed at Distrowatch. Here is my experience with them
1.Mint - Though based on ubuntu, I didn't like UI as well as its software center is poor and not as awesome as Ubuntu's
Then I was reading about KDE and thought to give it a try.
I chose 2.Chakra Linux - Installer Failed to utilize free space available in my system, tried to create primary partitions out of my free space which was not successful. i was forced to create those partitions of my own and then tried to install again. This time installation went smooth without any errors, but failed ot boot . I should have realized after reading their Wiki that the installer program (Tribe) is still under development and is error prone. I left Chakra there and never touched it again.
Then I read some good reviews about 3.PCLinuxOS. Decided to give it a try, downloaded the ISO, as usual booted with my USB stick. Installation program loaded 100% and then that's all it did, nothing else. I tried both live mode as well as Installe option, both resulted in same behavior (stuck after loading 100%). I posted the same in their forums(which by the way was great resource - very friendly guys out there) . Unfortunately the problem cannot be resolved and decided to move on.
I got stumbled, how could I have ignored 4.Fedora, being on top?, so decided to give it a try with its KDE spin. Fedora 19 KDE Was good, installer program was great, directly utilized my available free space. But desktop was felt like too buggy, shut down option doesn't work for some times. (I had to use the command from Konsole to shut down my PC ). Then decided to move on with some light weight distro.
I read about Arch Linux for its simplicity and stability, but also read that it was for advanced users (It doesn't contain even a default desktop environment? Too much scared to try it out). Thought that I was in need of some light weight distro with Arch as base, I scrolled through Distrowatch and found 5.Manjaro Linux, downloaded in installed it. I was pretty amazed by its performace and lightweighness. Looks absolutely awesome, blazingly fast except for a few things. It is still in beta. Time and clock settings seem to be a probelem, after every boot resets to some different time. Also the default desktop environment XFCE was buggy, the package manager as well, throwing some weird errors (Even community forums at Manajro decided to replace its package manager), so I thought that I would come back to Manjaro later when it gets out of beta and becomes stable.
(Time to move on).
Then(Let me think for a while...,) Aha, my next try out was 6.crunchbang (#!), the ultra lightweight distribution, based on Debian. I felt like I was right at my home. It looks like I finally landed at my favourite distribution. The thing is mind blowing, extremely fast. Runs with a RAM consumption of only 90MB. It is infinitely hackable. I found a few problems which I couldn't tolerate with though, requires a lot of initial customization, File manager Thunar was bit older version(without any Tab support - which I cannot live wihtout - I know that I could have chosen some other File manager instead as default, but my main goal was to identify what does the default choice of distros are. I'm happy with a few choices like GDebi being installed already - which is the first thing that I do in a fresh Ubuntu installation.), community was great though with lot of useful scripts and tutorials.
I then tried out 7.Mageia, standing at some 4th position in distrowatch. Installation was smooth. The perfect documentation, wiki and installation instructions I ever found in a distrbution so far, like even partition schemes were explained very clearly that even a beginner would be at perfect momentum to start with. KDE desktop was stable and smooth with much lesser memory consumption than Fedora. It too had thrown me some problems. As kwrite being the default text editior, I tried to launch it with command line to edit my fstab entries for enabling automount of my windows partitions, to my surpirse 'sudo' was reported as a bad command (jeez), turned to their IRC support and found that sudo has to be configured. Decided to use 'su' for time being and tried to launch kwrite. Failure again. I was thrown some bus error (I couldn't remember exact error message - sugegsted to export some bus variable to environment which I did.) i was glad that kwrite opened. Then modfied the file and saved it. After closing it I realized that I made some mistake in it adn has to edit again. I tried opening again from command line, but thrown with same bus error again. Decided to remove it and move on.
Downloaded Ubuntu 13.04. I am actually fond of ubuntu's software center as well as its choice of colours and fonts(which I'm in love with). Downloaded and installed without any hassle, (though was a bit scary that the first option is installer program to chose to install alongside windows7 - wasn't sure or installer didn't provide any confirmation about the usgae of my hard disk. But Ubuntu made the perfect choice of installing in the unallocated space without any problem. Installed my favorite software with a single click from software center. My windows partitions are ready to use, placed right at the unity bar.
Currently enjoying the Ubuntu, hats off to the team.