To NoOnee, if you boot from a live CD, you may be limited by the size of the ramdisk that the CD can create. For example, you might not be able to add plugins to Firefox (even given that the plugins would all disappear upon a reboot).
For the OP, I updated my Dell Mini9 netbook today from Ubuntu Netbook Remix 8.04 to 10.10--I blew everything away and reinstalled from scratch. It worked like a charm. I could have accepted the defaults all the way through and everything would have worked. (I didn't, because Netbood Remix defaults to no separate swap drive and I prefer the traditional means of swapping to a separate partition, but that was the only change I made from the defaults.)
The installation took less than 30 minutes. Netbook Remix is smaller than a full Ubuntu installation (that's the "Remix" part--they've left out stuff that they figure most persons would not be likely to use on a netbook but you can add all sorts of stuff later).
Linux is not harder than Windows. It's just different. The biggest stumbling block for many is the terminology, expecially as regards the file structure. There's good primer at http://linux.about.com/