Well, it's been a few years since I left windows and started using Ubuntu. There are many things I've enjoyed. But ultimatly I spend far too much time trying to get things to work. My wife is visually impaired and easily frustrated with technology. While I may be able to deal with the constant "fixing" of ubuntu (i plan on keeping it on my laptop) she just wants it to work. She used the enhanced zoom desktop and negative in compiz, unless they randomly stopped working. which was all the time. shortcuts would change or stop working. It got to a point where i was spending hours digging through forums, trying various things, and still nothing. Or i would get it to work and then the next update it would stop working again.
I love the idea behind ubuntu, and it has made some great strides since I started using it. That being said, it just isn't ready for primetime. It seems like the developers need to unify vision, so that updates don't break other functionality. compiz seems like a great example, it is part of ubbuntu but not part of ubuntu. either support it or don't. don't offer features that only "maybe" or "kind of" will work.
As I said, I like Ubuntu and will continue to use it on my laptop. Although it is worth pointing out that i'm typing this on the dual boot windows i have on my laptop, since i wanted to watch netflix.
To sum up, my only thoughts (and these are thoughts from someone who does not know anything about software development, so take them for what they're worth) is that Ubuntu should focus on making things they have work instead of coming out with new features. If it doesn't work, it will never stand a chance of competing - features aside. I realize that a lot of this involves third parties supporting linux - so i know this isn't completely ubuntu's fault. That being said, I was ready and willing to accept linux into my life. And i spent years trying and finally gave up. Just make it work.
thanks guys, i'll still be lurking, using it on my laptop.